Sports

A Tour de France veteran and plenty of beer: Here’s how to enjoy the Twilight Criterium

Professional women race in front of the Capitol in the 2016 Twilight Criterium.
Professional women race in front of the Capitol in the 2016 Twilight Criterium. kjones@idahostatesman.com

The 31st annual Twilight Criterium cycling race is set to take place Saturday evening through Downtown Boise. More than 10,000 spectators are expected.

The women’s professional race is set to start at 7 p.m. while the men’s race will begin at 8:15 p.m.

There will be plenty of other activities going throughout the day starting at noon, however, and a meet-and-greet with professional cyclists Friday evening at Payette Brewing Co. Here are five things to know going into race day.

Schedule of events

The race begins and ends on Jefferson Street at the Idaho Statehouse. The course runs south on 6th Street, west on Bannock Street, north on 9th Street and back onto Jefferson. A full map can be found at downtownboise.com.

The awards ceremony will follow the men’s race at approximately 10 p.m.

Twilight Criterium festivities run all day and include several other races. Olympic gold medalist and Boise native Kristin Armstrong will sign autographs for fans prior to the races; her canopy will be located across from Saint Lawrence Gridiron on Bannock Street.

Cyclist Kristin Armstrong, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, signed autographs and rode with kids before the Boise Twilight Criterium bike race on July 11, 2015.

Registration for races is in front of the Capitol building; kids race registration is located next to Armstrong’s tent.

Noon: Kids Ride registration & autograph session with Kristin Armstrong

1 p.m. Kids Ride

1:45 p.m. Expo Area open

1:45 p.m. Category 4/5

2:45 p.m. Masters 40+ (1/2/3) & Men 3

3:45 p.m. Women 2/3

4:30 p.m. Men 1/2/3

5:45 p.m. Para-cycle Race

6:15 p.m. Boise GreenBike Celebrity Race

6:50 p.m. Opening Ceremony

Weather forecast

High of 101 degrees and low of 69 degrees, partly cloudy, according to Weather.com. Winds of up to 9 miles per hour and 25 percent humidity expected. Sunset is expected at 9:23 p.m.

New additions

This year’s event will feature a meet-and -greet Friday at Payette Brewing Co. (733 S. Pioneer St.) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Professional cyclists from various teams will be on hand to meet fans.

Food, beverages and Twilight Criterium apparel will be available for purchase on site. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association (SWIMBA).

Big names

New Zealand’s Greg Henderson, a six-time Tour de France participant, will ride in the men’s race for United Healthcare Pro Cycling Team (UHC). The 40-year-old also has competed in five Olympic Games.

Professional riders from men’s and women’s cycling teams such as Cylance, Rally, UHC, Colavita, Hagens Berman, Sho-AirTwenty20 and Visit Dallas DNA will race as well.

Viewing and parking

A quick look at the course map shows a few places fans can watch without getting in the race’s crosshairs. Yen Ching, Boise Fry Co., Even Stevens Sandwiches and 10 Barrel are all either on Bannock Street or right off it and are prime viewing spots. The corners of Bannock Street and 6th/9th Street are also good spots, as are the corners of Idaho Street and 6th/9th Street.

There will also be food and drink tents (and plenty of shade) set up at the Twilight Expo, located at Capitol Park off Capitol Boulevard and Bannock/Jefferson Streets.

Parking for the day is available in structures off Main Street and Idaho Street. Normal rates apply.

Michael Katz: 208-377-6444, @MichaelLKatz

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