630 bicyclists ride in annual race

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Professional cyclist Daniel Halloway pedals during a Chico State Stage Race. Photo credit Dan Reidel

On your mark. Get set. Ride!

Cyclists and bike enthusiasts gathered downtown to watch the annual Chico Stage Race Sunday.

The Stage Race is held every year and draws in people from all over California to either compete or watch the races. This year’s race had 630 participants, some of which were professional cyclists.

Chico Stage Race has three distinct parts to it that take place throughout the day. They include the criterium, the road race and the time trial.

The criterium takes place downtown. The cyclists who are competing in the criterium have to do a certain number of laps around blocked-off streets in less than one hour.

Carol Shearly from Davis, was an onlooker at the criterium as well as a mother of one of the cyclists, explained that the riders call criterium the “crit,” and that the categories of the race are broken down into ages and then into mastery levels, five being the lowest and one being the top.

The cyclists enter either as teams or individuals. Erica Greif was a cyclist from the Zoca team, which is sponsored by Halo Sports.

“(I am) very excited. The crit is always fun,” Greif said. “The turnout of riders this year is great, especially nice to see how many women have shown up to compete in the race.”

The other two events, the road race and the time trail, took place later on the same day.

Madeline Merlic can be reached at [email protected] or @madelinemer94 on Twitter.