Tuesday Night Crit Racing Returns to Edmonton!

After too many years, Tuesday night criterium racing returned to Edmonton on June 26, 2018.

Late in the afternoon, the darkening skies looked ready to cry their rainy eyes out on the event. It was nearly cancelled.

Dedicated cyclists don't often stop for rain. They train and race right through. But a car racing cicuit like Castrol Raceway wouldn't be safe to ride when wet. All the tire rubber, grease and oils from the race cars would become too slippery to ride safely.

And safety is the primary reason to race at Castrol.

Few Urban Criterium Circuits Available

It's become harder to find urban (or even suburban) roads to race on these days. Criterium racing usually follows about a 1km circuit on city blocks easily managed to keep clear of traffic.

Sometimes we can close a few blocks for major one-off events, with pre-planning and a small army of volunteer marshalls to monitor corners and intersections. But for some weeknight training races? These logistics are unweildly. There needs to be a better way.

Enter a facility like Castrol Raceway, on the outskirts of Edmonton.

Castrol Raceway Opened Its Gates to Bicycles

Home track to many millionaires who race their six and even seven figure super cars, Castrol is a screaming loud facility on weekends. On weekdays, though, it's deserted … virtually abandonded. So why not put it to use, and open up for bike racing? Thanks go out to Dayton Danielson for asking Castrol Raceway managers Rob and Kim Reeves that very question.

With Ethusiastic Cycling Community Volunteers

No army of volunteers were needed. It took only four people to run the event. Four. Bernie Fagnan, Paul Wyminga, Ella Rokosh and Kevin Rokosh. Colin Huggins was the enthusiastic host from Castrol.

Four Super-Safe Events in One Night!

As you see in the satellite picture above, the full circuit was split into two tracks. That let us run two events at once. With a two-hour window open for the racing, it let us run four races in one evening! That could never happen safely on urban roads.

Other than velodrome riding, there's really no safer way to either introduce bike racing or offer a solid training race experience to up-and-coming racers, or seasoned cyclists.

Besides the obvious lack of vehicles to contend with, the race circuits offered smooth pavement and no curbs waiting to take riders down who might cook a corner.

An Over-the-Top Turnout Despite Grey Skies

At least 60 racers made their way out for the 7pm start. With participation numbers like that, and smiles all around at the end of the night, this inagural event was a success! It looks promising to become at least a monthly event this season. Might we say the 4th Tuesday of each month? Perhaps we can lift that to weekly in 2019! Please leave a comment with your vote of support.

Results

All the races ran fast and furious, with the A-level guys putting in a 42+kph average speed for their 45min +3 lap event! Bernie did his best to grab video of the finishes to sort at least the top 5 placings:

Women

  1. Kim Walter
  2. Annie Scott
  3. Sharron Oakey
  4. Jessica Lacoursiere
  5. Quinn Flater

Group C

  1. Dayton Danielson
  2. Andrew Linklater
  3. Jedd Gilmonr
  4. William Blaney
  5. Roy Robinson
  6. Nathan Forsyth
  7. Stewart Wylllie
(Juniors rode with Group C. Next time (YES!) we hope to have enough Juniors for their own race.)

Group B

  1. Bob Werner
  2. Rory Carroll
  3. Mark Makowsky
  4. Robert Bruha
  5. Greg Nicholson
  6. Cory Dickinson

 Group A

  1. Evan Burtnik
  2. Cameron McKnight
  3. Jamin Soehn
  4. Jacob Claffey
  5. Scott Klarenbach
  6. Lukas Adomonis
  7. Duncan Clark
  8. Mike Stickland
  9. Albert Nguyen
  10. Kevin Coghlan
  11. William Mazurek
  12. Niall McGrath
  13. Aaron Falkenberg
  14. Brent Topilko
  15. Scott MacKenzie