The Twilight Criterium

April 27th, 2012 | By Gary No Comments

with cooperation from the Athens Twilight Criterium

For those of you who think we’re writing about vampires, let me quickly explain what a “criterium,” or crit, is, and what the Athens Twilight Criterium is.
A criterium is a short cycling race around a closed circuit that is usually between 1km and 5km in length. In most cases, the course is closed off from other street traffic, and the crit is either timed or its laps are measured.

Founded in 1980 by Gene Dixon, the Athens Twilight Criterium began as one race with 40 competitors and has grown to eight race classes and 150 cyclists competing in just the men’s criterium, an 80K race around downtown Athens.

VeloNews calls the Athens event the “Criterium Not To Miss.” Voted first by their poll of professional and amateur racers, Twilight is a highlight of the pro cycling season, and is part of the USA CRITS Championship Series, USA CRITS Speed Week and Georgia Championship Series. In fact, the Athens event has always stood apart from other criteriums and is popular with racers and spectators alike. More than 30,000 spectators and some of cycling’s biggest names can be found on the streets of Athens during this criterium.

In October 2010, the Athens Twilight Foundation was formed. This non-profit foundation was created to implement the annual criterium, plan a year-round calendar of fundraising events, and support cycling and fitness initiatives. The foundation’s goal is to become a resource promoting community development and public health.

“The community adopted the Twilight from the start, and the creation of the Twilight Foundation ensures the event’s future,” said Dixon. “The foundation is the best way for the Twilight to remain America’s iconic criterium and maintain its legacy for the entire Athens community.”

So exactly what does the Athens Twilight Criterium include?  That list is long and diverse, and very, very exciting. The Twilight is for cycling, running, walking, spectators, music lovers, food lovers and so much more that literally anyone could have a good time. We are listing most of the events here, but if you want a comprehensive explanation of all these, plus information about supporting activities, you will find details, registration forms, photos and more at

So, whether you’re riding, walking, running, playing, snacking, learning, or spectating, mark your calendars for April 27-28 and come on out for the Athens Twilight. It’s a huge event in our community, and we have no doubt it will be an experience you and your family will want to have year after year!

And check out all of Athens’ upcoming fitness, sports, recreation and family events on our calendar, Page 28.

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