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Tour of Newport News: Weekend Bicycle Competition

After two incredibly successful bike races in 2022 and 2023, the City of Newport News and THR Cycling Club are collaborating again in an event that will encompass an entire weekend of cycling competitions and activities. The Tour of Newport News, an omnium taking place April 12-14, is a cycling event consisting of races of different distances and types over several days. 

The 3-day, 4-race event will feature: 

  1. *Street Sprints on 23rd Street (Friday night)
  2. *Crawford Road Time Trial (Saturday morning, in nearby Yorktown)
  3. *Newport News Twilight Criterium (Saturday afternoon and evening)
  4. *Fort Eustis Circuit Race (Sunday)

The fun begins April 12 with Street Sprints on 23rd Street in the Yard District, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. This is an elimination-style sprint, where riders line up five at a time and await a whistle to begin a short but intense all-out sprint to the finish. Spectators can take in the action while enjoying beverages from Coastal Fermentory and Ironclad Distillery and food from downtown vendors and food trucks.

The competition continues April 13 in neighboring Yorktown with the Crawford Road Time Trial. This out-and-back five-mile course includes rolling terrain and false flats that will have riders at their physical limits for 10-15 minutes of racing. Later in the day, the Newport News Twilight Criterium returns to the Yard District in downtown Newport News.  This portion of the event features both professional and amateur categories sanctioned by USA Cycling.  

The Criterium kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with a FREE Kids Fun Race for ages 1-8. Balance and pedal bikes are allowed, and parents are encouraged to help. All children will receive prizes at the conclusion of the 15-minute event. The Criterium races begin at 1 p.m., with participants from across the country and international locations. The one-kilometer course includes eight 90-degree turns in a figure-eight configuration, billed as “fast and smooth, with very little braking required.” This is one of the hardest and most technical courses in the Mid-Atlantic region and an ideal race for spectators. It begins and ends at City Hall, 2400 Washington Ave., and covers just two square blocks between Huntington and West avenues and 25th through 27th streets. The short uphill and fast downhill course, along with twilight, dusk, and dark conditions, are sure to challenge the hundreds of beginner-to-elite cyclists expected.

Because crits are so exciting to watch, the public is encouraged to come to the Yard District to cheer on the cyclists! There is no other competition where the spectators are as close to the action – the good, the bad, and the ugly (i.e. crashes)! Expect a party atmosphere with former professional cyclist Frankie Andreu announcing. During his career, Andreu finished fourth in the cycling road race at the 1996 Olympics. Andreu will be joined by legendary local announcer Joe Jefferson. Together they will break down the tactics and explain the various races in a way that even first-time spectators will be able to follow and enjoy. 

The Tour concludes on Sunday, April 14 with the Fort Eustis Circuit Race. Featuring a flat and extremely fast 5K loop on the active-duty military installation, the event includes military specific, Wounded Warrior, and para-racer categories. 

More than 1,400 participants are already registered for the 2024 event. With over $15,000 in cash and prizes being offered, organizers promise competitors the Tour of Newport News will be worth the trip! Can’t make it for the whole weekend of racing?  Sign up for an individual event or two! This elite amateur bicycle race is presented by THR Cycling and the City of Newport News. Click here for complete race information and to register. To see a video of one of the races in the 2022 Newport News Criterium, click here. For questions, e-mail teamhamptonroads@gmail.com. And don't forget to check out all the fun on Instagram and Facebook.