The Rochester Twilight Criterium started in 2004 – seems like forever ago now and we’re thrilled to once again host the event in Rochester on August 19th, 2017!
The Crit first brought world-class professional bicycle racing to the City of Rochester in 2004. The one-day format of the event included amateur and professional bicycle racing on the streets of downtown Rochester. Amateurs raced during the day and a men’s professional race was held at night. In 2004 there was only one other major Twilight Criterium in the U.S.
In 2005 we came back as the USA Cycling (USAC)New York State Criterium Championships. We were psyched to have 12,000 spectators and the buzz was growing.
For 2006, the Crit joined the U.S. National Race calendar. Normally reserved for races 5 years or older, the event was awarded this placement after only 2 years.. This designation was an honor and a testament to the quality of the Rochester Twilight Criterium as the USAC race schedule contains over 5,000 events annually and only 35 were on the National Calendar in 2006.
In 2007 the event was upgraded to the highest level of professional cycling by the Union Cycliste International (UCI). The UCI is the international governing body of professional cycling and is headquartered in Switzerland. The Rochester Twilight Criterium was awarded placement on the UCI Americas Tour, one of only 13 races in the U.S. to be presented within this prestigious schedule. Once again, an unprecedented advancement considering the event was only entering its fourth year. As a result, Rochester hosted international athletes including Olympians, World and National Champions from Argentina, Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Ireland, England, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Serbia, Australia, Uruguay and the United States.
In 2008 the event grew into the Rochester Omnium, a 3-day race including three different disciplines of road cycling: and individual Time Trial, a long-distance point to point Road Race and the ever popular Twilight Criterium. The event drew 50,000 spectators over the three days and drew accolades from everyone involved.
Flash forward to 2015 and we brought the event back again to Rochester as a USA Cycling NCC (National Criterium Calendar) event – once again at the highest level of professional criterium cycling in the USA!
2016 was another fantastic evening of racing – this time in inclement weather (rain) and the action was incredible! So a note for the adventurous, do not miss this event even if the weather looks like rain, you won’t regret it as the professional athletes negotiate the wet as if it was dry.