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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico Downtown Criterium, one step closer to bringing back Chico Stage Race

After a four-year hiatus, bicyclists once again race through Chico’s downtown streets

Cyclists raced through the streets of Downtown Chico on Sunday, as the Chico Downtown Criterium returned after a four-year break, following the pandemic. It marks the first step in bringing back the full Chico Stage Race

 

The Chico Stage Race is a larger but very similar event with bigger prizes. It draws in more riders and crowds, as well as increased revenue for Chico businesses.

 

Several downtown streets were blocked off on Sunday, as the race involved careening around six 90-degree turns. Races were held from 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. with multiple different timed races. There were several racer categories based on age and skill levels.

Cyclists round the corner of Third Street and Broadway. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10.

The weather was a bit cooler than in years past, but it didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the crowd or the riders. 

 

Matt Gray, of Chico, was excited the race had returned. 

“I enjoy watching the racers get through the tight corners. In some of the races, they are really flying,” Gray said.

Organizers hope to bring back the full Chico Stage Race in the spring of 2025.

Racers leaving the starting line. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10.
Cyclists lean into a corner. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10.
Cyclists check over their shoulders as they jockey for position. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10.
Cyclists pedal through a turn. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10.
Cyclists race through downtown Chico. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10.
A racer navigates a corner while racing through downtown Chico. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10.

 

Some race fans brought their creative bicycles to the event. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10.

 

A BMX rider performs a backflip. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10.
A cyclist practices tricks with an inflatable landing ramp. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10.
A creative bicycle. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10.
Jesse Sherman manages pedestrian traffic. Taken by Toby Neal on March 10
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About the Contributor
Toby Neal, Reporter
Toby Neal is a public relations major, graduating in May. This is his first semester writing for The Orion. Neal is looking forward to bringing interesting and informative stories to the publication. He likes to keep his finger on the pulse of a gamut of things, from politics, to international topics, to hitting live music shows, to finding new places to eat and much in between. See you out there.

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