Boise Twilight Criterium welcomes pro cyclists, big crowds

Cyclists from across the nation will convene in Boise on Saturday to whiz around a three-square-block course and compete for $20,000 in prizes.

The 35th annual Twilight Criterium will follow its usual path: between 6th and 9th Streets in the north-south direction and Jefferson and Bannock streets going east-west. The track’s start/finish line will be directly in front of the Idaho Capitol.

“I’m super excited,” race director Mike Cooley told the Idaho Statesman. “We have basically the best criterium riders in North America in Boise, Idaho, this weekend.”

The race will welcome 70 men and 50 women in the professional divisions, and a total of around 300 cyclists, Cooley said.

This race appears on the USA Cycling calendar and is part of the new American Criterium Cup circuit, which is in its inaugural season and includes 10 races across the country, with a total prize purse of $100,000.

The Boise event is the fifth race on the circuit.

Criterium racing is one of four bicycle racing disciplines, in which cyclists race in laps around an enclosed track. Competitors pick up points based on their standings at different points throughout the race, and the professional races last about 70 minutes each.


Criterium to bring crowds, road closures

The Boise event, sponsored by law firm Bailey Glasser, promises to bring large crowds to downtown Boise again, and the necessary course and setup road closures in the core of downtown. This means typical commutes can require an alternate course, and traversing downtown won’t be as easy as it is on a typical weekend.

Starting at 5 am on Saturday, Jefferson Street at N. 6th Street and Capitol Boulevard, as well as 8th Street at Idaho Street, will be closed. At 10 am, the full course will be closed off.

Cooley said there will be crowd-control fencing around the course, in addition to crossing guards and corner marshals to deal with spectators and people using crosswalks that are open at various times.

I have added that there will be a police presence at the event.

“They’ll have their full patrol down there the entire day,” Cooley said. “They also will have their motorcycle officers at the front of each group. They’re escorting around as racers go do their laps.”

Boise Police Department spokesperson Haley Kramer said police would work with the event planners, just as they have in previous years.

“As with any special event of this size in the city, we work … through the city’s Special Events Committee,” Kramer told the Statesman via email. “This provides a full public safety plan that includes law enforcement and other public safety agencies like Fire and EMS.”

Race weekend will feature other activities

This weekend’s festivities are not limited to the bicycle races, which start at 12:15 pm with the traditional Kids’ Race. The women’s pro race is 6:30-7:40 pm, and the men’s pro race is 8:05-9:15 pm

On Friday, the Twilight Trifecta Community Kickoff at JUMP will offer music from bluegrass band Head for the Hills, as well as free french fries and sliders. JUMP will also showcase the 3-D Basque Museum photo exhibit and host Bike BINGO. The event runs from 4 to 8 pm, with music starting at 5.

Deschutes and New Belgium will offer beer and wine, with proceeds from the bar sales benefiting the Twilight Criterium race. There will also be an on-site food drive for Idaho Foodbank.

Starting at 1 pm on the day of the race, the Twilight Expo will be open in Cecil D. Andrus Park, which is inside the race route. There will be local food and drink vendors, as well as a place for spectators to watch the cyclists.

Saturday’s weather is predicted to be mostly sunny with a high of 95.

Michelle Jenkins contributed to this story.

This story was originally published July 7, 2022 12:39 PM.

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Catherine Odom is an intern reporter at the Idaho Statesman. She is a rising junior at Northwestern University majoring in journalism and international studies.


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