Capital Criterium organizers announce the race's return; possible dress rehearsal for the 2012 Giro d'Italia
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Capital Criterium organizers announce the race's return; possible dress rehearsal for the 2012 Giro d'Italia

by Steve Jones at 11:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Things falling in place for a first time visit abroad

Giro dThe Washington Convention and Sports Authority (WCSA) and Capital Criterium race organizers today have announced a partnership to host the 2010 Capital Criterium presented by the Washington Convention and Sports Authority. The Capital Criterium is scheduled for Sunday, July 11, and is rumored to be a dress rehearsal for a possible start to the Giro d'Italia in the Nation's Capital in 2012.

Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan saw images of the successful 2008 event, and it's widely known that the photos were what inspired him to consider taking Italy's Grand Tour abroad.  The organizers of the Capital Criterium are also working with G4 Productions on bringing the larger project to fruition.  VeloNation asked Mark Sommers, part of the US Stage working group for the Giro bid, if there were any updates on the project.

“Everything is on track to finalize the bid to host two stages of the 2012 Giro d’Italia in the nation’s capital,” he told VeloNation today.  “Obviously, the CapCrit presented by WCSA is the ideal event to grow the already substantial support for bringing the world class Giro to this world class city.  The finish of the proposed 2012 Giro DC circuit race will be positioned very near the finish of the 2010 CapCrit.  As such, people will have an early look at the finishing straight for history’s first European grand tour mass-start stage outside of Europe.”

This past February a meeting was held at the Italian embassy in Washington DC, where both sides provided an update on the working group's efforts to bring the mega-event to the United States.  Several cities were mentioned when the initial word leaked out, but the working committee confirmed to VeloNation in early March that the US portion would consist of the team presentation, prologue and stage one, with all three taking place inside the Nation's Capital.

While the Capital Criterium has been added as the fifth stop of the nine-race USA CRITS series, it will also represent a rare chance for amateurs to ride the streets that will presumably be filled with the world's greatest cyclists in less than two-years time.

The promoters have decided to take their event to the next level and have included kids’ safety races, a celebrity charity ride and a lifestyle expo that are all free to the public, to compliment the paid-entry professional and amateur races.  The day will be themed in support of the Giro d'Italia bid and feature a wide array of cycling, green, and Italian-American exhibitors, live music and other activities.

Capital Criterium“The Capital Criterium showcases professional cycling not just to the citizens of the District of Columbia and the nation but also the world, given the interest the past running of this great race drew from our good friends from the Giro d’Italia,” said D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.  “I look forward to another tremendous race on July 11 and, of course, sharing our world-class views, imagery, and settings for all to enjoy.”

The CapCrit event day begins at 8:15 a.m. with three amateur women’s and men’s elite races followed by the “CycleLife Kids’ Safety Races” at 11:40 a.m. The kids’ cycling safety races are free for all kids (there are four races for ages 3-5, 6-7, 8-9, and 10-11). CycleLife, a cycling lifestyle company located in Georgetown, will provide up to 300 free helmets, water bottles and t-shirts for all participating kids. Information on registering kids may be found at

Along with the CapCrit Lifestyle Expo, the “GiroDC2012 Celeb Charity Ride” will be held in support of D.C.’s Giro bid. The celeb ride “winner” will receive $1,000 to donate to their favorite cycling or health and fitness charity. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Italian Ambassador Guilo Terzi, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and DC Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein are among those scheduled to participate in the ride.

At 1:15 p.m., the Marine Corps color guard will present the flag for the singing of the National Anthem and the 105 minute pro race will begin. Regarded as one of the most challenging courses on the professional criterium circuit, the 1.3 kilometer course features seven turns, including a 180° turn on Pennsylvania Avenue just before 9th Street and 13th Street hill between Pennsylvania Avenue and F Street. The 20,000 spectators at the 2008 CapCrit witnessed one of the most spectacular finishes in all of pro cycling--straight down the Presidential Inauguration route framed by the US Capitol.


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