USA cycling athletes may soon be circling downtown Turlock this summer at the first annual Turlock Criterium race, slated for Aug. 8.
“A few of us in the local cycling community have been talking about this for a while,” said race coordinator Mitch Boehs. “It’s something we’d like to do for the community, the city of Turlock, and local cyclists.”
The criterium race, which is similar to a grand prix in that cyclists perform several laps on a smaller course, will allow locals to witness the talent of licensed USA cycling athletes. However, the first time event would require closures of several downtown streets, which is why it will appear before the Turlock City Council for approval on Tuesday.
“Hopefully, we're going to get a positive response from the community,” said Boehs.
If approved, eight to 10 races will take place throughout the day each lasting roughly 40 minutes. The event will kick off in the afternoon and run until the evening, making it a “twilight event” according to Boehs.
“We expect to bring in a minimum of 300 racers from out of town and possibly as many as 500. I think we can definitely help showcase downtown Turlock and the local cycling community,” said Boehs. “We want to create a festival atmosphere, but the goal is to have the road open by 9 to 9:30 in the evening so we don’t affect late night business in the city.”
Local bike shop Cycle Masters is slated to participate in the event by helping in the pit and sponsorships are also available. Those interested in contributing to the event can call Boehs at 756-2140.
The City of Turlock is also soliciting public input in regards to the first annual Turlock Criterium Race and those wishing to provide comments can attend Tuesday’s Turlock City Council meeting at 6 p.m. at City Hall located at 156 S. Broadway. Responses can also be emailed to Carla McLaughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.