‘This is bigger than a bike race’ - brand-new CRIT event to launch in Florida

Plans have been unveiled for the inaugural race of Justin Williams's new series

Justin Williams in a pink jersey and a red bull helmet
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A brand-new criterium race, the CRIT Championship, will debut this October in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

The event comes as part of the wider Circuit Racing International Tour (CRIT), a multi-million dollar investment in US Cycling, launched by L39ion of Los Angeles’s Justin Williams, founder of Williams Racing Development, in partnership with Wasserman Ventures. 

Scheduled for 21 October, the inaugural CRIT Championship promises to “elevate American cycling”, offering a unique race experience for spectators and riders. 

In a press release shared on Tuesday, Williams said: “One of our primary goals is using bikes to create change and opportunities. We’re grateful to showcase our craft to St. Petersburg, and we invite the entire community to come out and experience an amazing weekend of bike racing and community activations.

“This is bigger than a bike race. The formation of CRIT has been a lifelong dream. I'm proud of where we are, and can’t wait for what’s to come. Thank you all for your support along the way, this has been a tremendous journey.” 

Williams and Wasserman Ventures originally announced CRIT in April this year, with limited details about the race schedule, format or venues. 

It is still uncertain who will compete in October’s inaugural event, with the organisers promising additional information on athlete participation “in the near future”. There will also be a series of sponsored ‘GranFundo’ races, as well as a five-kilometre run, open to anyone in St. Petersburg on the same day. 

Gina Driscoll, St. Petersburg City Council member, said: “St. Pete is home to world-famous museums, independent galleries, a thriving performing arts scene, film festivals, live music, and a vibrant literary arts community. It is more than fitting to host the inaugural CRIT race at home on our streets. 

“With open arms, we welcome Justin and CRIT to our close-knit community of working artists and crafts-people. We look forward to a celebratory event for the entire community.”

CRIT’s introduction to the racing calendar comes at a time of rejuvenation for American cycling. In April, the all-new National Cycling League (NCL) launched in Miami Beach, Florida with a $1 million prize purse and specially-formed teams on the start line. 

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