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WMU hosts second annual criterium bike race

Aug. 1, 2007

KALAMAZOO--The high-tech, corporate air of Western Michigan University's Business Technology and Research Park will be transformed into an intense cycling course with a block-party atmosphere Saturday, Aug. 11, for the second annual BTR Park Criterium bike race.

The first race is set to begin at 8 a.m. on a challenging 1.1-mile course. The competition will continue throughout the day with 10 separate events for racers of different ages and genders. The event, which is organized by WMU, the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club and the WMU Cycling Club, is expected to last until about 4:30 p.m.

The most popular form of bike racing in the United States, a criterium is the cycling equivalent of the Indy 500--fast, exciting and sometimes dangerous. Cyclists race on a closed-circuit track, completing each lap in about one minute. They travel at speeds that exceed 30 mph to be the first to cross the finish line without being passed. A short, closed course makes criterium cycling an ideal spectator sport.

"Racing at this level involves state-of-the art technology, so it's a perfect event to hold here, where every day high-tech companies partner with the WMU College of Engineering to push the boundaries of industry and technology," says Bob Miller, WMU associate vice president for community outreach and the University's point person on park development. "In addition, we wanted to do something fun for our neighbors and the rest of the community."

The day's soundtrack will be provided by WIDR, WMU's student radio station. Local restaurants, including Bogie's Cafe and Beaner's Coffee, will be selling food and beverages and other vendors will be on site to offer cycling gear and accessories. A total of $3,500 in prize money will be awarded during the closing ceremonies.

The event is free to spectators and will be held rain or shine. Entry in the event's Kids Race is free, and registration for all other races is $25 to $30 through Friday, Aug. 3. Late registration after that date is $35 to $40. Online registration closes Wednesday, Aug. 8. For more information about the criterium, visit www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org or register online at www.sportsbaseonline.com.

WMU's BTR Park is located at the intersection of Parkview Avenue and S. Drake Road in Kalamazoo. Spectator parking is available next to the WMU soccer field adjacent to the park. Parking and registration for those participating in the criterium is in the parking lot of the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, located next to WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Event sponsors include WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Denso Manufacturing Michigan Inc.; Kalamazoo Bicycle Club; Breakaway Bicycles & Fitness; Soil and Materials Engineers Inc.; Tekna Solutions Inc.; Friends of WMU; Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber Inc.; Southwest Michigan Innovation Center; and Zoo City Cycle & Sport.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, (269) 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

WMU News
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Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
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