Cycling Classic returns to Beaufort: A viewers’ guide to Tuesday’s crit race

By Marie McAden Break out the cowbells! The Beaufort Memorial Cycling Classic returns to the Lowcountry May 1, bringing the best criterium cyclists in the world to town for another hair-raising battle through the streets of the Historic District. The race — one of seven competitions in the USA Crits Speed Week series — will feature 118 men and 70 women vying for a slice of a $15,000 purse. Riding at average speeds of 25 to 30 mph, the cyclists will race around a .6-mile course that starts on Bay Street and loops around Scott, Raven and Newcastle streets. It’s free to watch the race, one of the few professional sporting events offered to the public at no charge. Criterium, or crit, racing doesn’t get the hype of long-distance cycling events like the Tour de France, but it’s much more exciting for onlookers to follow. Rather than see the cyclists speed by once, spectators can watch them pass dozens of time. In the Cycling Classic, the women will make 50... ...

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