kids encyclopedia robot

Criterium facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Jersey Town Criterium 2009 101
Riders in the Jersey Town Criterium, 2009

A criterium, or crit, is a type of bicycle race held on a short course (usually less than 5 km), often run on closed-off city centre streets.

Race length can be either a time or a number of laps. Often a criterium lasts about one hour, which is shorter than that of a traditional road race – which can last many hours, sometimes of several days or even weeks, as in a Grand Tour. However, the average speed and is much higher. The winner is the first rider to cross the finish line without having been "lapped" (overtaken).

Events often have prizes (called primes, usually cash) for winning specific intermediate laps (for instance, every 10th lap).

Winning criteriums needs a mix of good technical skills – especially the ability to corner rapidly and sharply – and riding safely with a large group on a short circuit and exceptional fitness to attack other riders and repeatedly accelerate hard from corners.

Criteriums are relatively easy to organize and do not require a large amount of space. They are the most common type of bicycle racing in the continental United States.


Racing bicycles used for criteriums are typically no different than those used in other mass-start road events. However, some racers use shorter bicycles to help keep control when turning and slightly shorter cranks (pedal levers) to help pedalling through sharp turns.

UCI ProTour | UCI Women's Road World Cup
UCI Road World Championships: Men • Women | Olympic Games | National Cycling Championships
UCI Continental Circuits:  UCI Africa Tour • UCI America Tour • UCI Asia Tour • UCI Europe Tour • UCI Oceania Tour
Grand Tour | Stage race | Classics | Criterium | Individual time trial | Team time trial
Racing bicycle

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Critérium para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
Distinguished African-American Artists:
Sharif Bey
Hale Woodruff
Richmond Barthé
Purvis Young
kids search engine
Criterium Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.