::Big Bicycle Race In Raleigh Friday Night
From Raleigh Chronicle Staff And Wire Reports
Thursday, May 24, 2007
RALEIGH - Local citizens will be able to see more than the usual Raleigh nightlife on Friday night in downtown Raleigh.
More than 100 cyclists will be racing through the streets of downtown Raleigh on Friday, May 25th, in the annual Downtown Raleigh Criterium. The race is free and open to the public.
According to organizers, many of the nation's top teams are coming to town to compete for valuable points in the prestigious NRC series, bike racing's version of NASCAR's Nextel Cup.
The action begins at 6:30pm with the start of the women's competition, which will be 35 laps and will have a $5,000 purse.
The Pro/Elite Men's race begins at 8:15pm and will be 50 miles with 80 laps and a $10,000 purse.
The awards ceremony will take place at around 10:20pm at the podium near the start and finish line at the intersection of Martin Street and Fayetteville Street.
Spectators will see speed up close and personal as cyclists reach speeds of more than 40 miles per hour on the flat, fast, one-kilometer circuit featuring high-speed turns and a sprint straight-away on the newly reopened Fayetteville Street.
"The event kicks off Memorial Day weekend with fast-paced action, drinks, music and live race commentary combining to create a block party feel along downtown's revitalized Fayetteville Street district," said the Criterium organizers in a released statement.
Proceeds from the race will benefit the North Carolina Children's Promise, a statewide initiative to promote North Carolina Children's Hospital. Its mission is to secure financial and community resources to provide comprehensive, family-centered healthcare for the children of North Carolina.
Sponsors for the Downtown Raleigh Criterium include the City of Raleigh, Global Knowledge, Greater Raleigh Convention Visitor's Bureau, The News & Observer, 518 West, Leith BMW, 96 Rock, the Raleigh Convention Center, Endurance Magazine, Sheraton Raleigh and The Spin Cycle.
Many streets will be closed in the downtown area as a result of the race. The map at right shows which streets will be affected as well as the race circuit.