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Downtown Turlock prepares for first annual cycling race
bike race pic1
Downtown Turlock is set to be the venue for the TEA Solar Cycling Classic, a high-speed multi-lap race. - photo by ALYSSON AREDAS / The Journal

With TEA Solar Cycling Classic, Turlock’s first annual criterium bike race, just around the corner, event director Mitch Boehs said that the idea of bringing a grand prix style of racing to downtown Turlock was one he has harbored for a long time.

“I thought about a Turlock criterium bike race for awhile,” said Boehs. “I wanted to do something to promote cycling in the community of Turlock and I felt like Turlock downtown was the perfect venue.”

A criterium race is a multi-lap event held on a closed course, generally a mile or less in length. These races, which usually last one to two hours, are extremely fast — 30 mph and up — as the cyclists jockey for position and sprint for lap “primes,” according to USA Cycling.

The event will kick off with a kids’ race, which Boehs explained as a “smaller event” to give kids something to do, as well as get families invested in and pumped for the upcoming cycling competition.

Following the kids’s race will be a great day for racing enthusiasts, according to Boehs, who promised that guests would be close to the action for six different races, allowing them to see licensed USA Cycling athletes coming by every couple of minutes as they perform several laps on the small course.

“It’s a great event to come out with your family and hang out in local restaurants and watch the riders go by and cheer for them,” said Boehs.  

Although registration numbers aren’t finalized, Boehs said that the TEA Solar Cycling Classic in downtown Turlock could accommodate up to 600 cyclists. Realistically, however, the event director is hoping to attract a total of 400 cyclists to the inaugural event.

“This event helps showcase the city of Turlock and Turlock’s downtown,” said Boehs. “It will bring people and awareness to Turlock’s beautiful downtown and businesses should see an increase on the day of the race. Even if they don’t, the event will still bring awareness to what downtown Turlock has to offer.”

TEA Solar Cycling Classic is scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on Aug. 8 in downtown Turlock. The starting and finishing point is on the corner of West Main Street and North Broadway Avenue.

Online registration is open until Wednesday, however, day-of registration will be available for a $5 late fee. This is a USA Cycling sanctioned event and all rules apply. Riders must present a current USA Cycling license at registration.

The free event is open to the public and a portion of the proceeds will go towards Bikes for Kids. For more information, contact Boehs at