Nick's Picks: Rochester Twilight Criterium

Rochester Twilight Criterium

Nick’s Picks is really all about education. I am your teacher, and you, my readers, are my students, actively learning about all that the 585 has to offer. This week however, roles are reversed, I am doing the learning.

I have just become aware of the Rochester Twilight Criterium. This bicycle racing spectacle began in 2004, ran for five consecutive years, took a hiatus until 2016, and is back again this summer, Saturday, August 19. A criterium is a bicycle race that unfolds over a short closed-loop course with plenty of turns, much shorter than an ordinary road race.

The nature of a criterium course is what will bring close to 30,000 spectators from all over the Northeast and Canada to Downtown Rochester. While long Tour de France style road races can appear to be a leisurely stroll at some points, there is no time to be apathetic in a criterium. Hundreds of world-class bicyclists from all over the world whiz by audiences at speeds in excess of thirty miles per hour, taking turns as fast as possible, and making aggressive moves in an effort to get to the front of the pack. This insane high-speed action takes place only feet from spectators on a one mile course mostly on East Broad Street and Court Street.

Races start at 4 p.m. and build to the 8:30 p.m. main event, the Pro-1 Men’s 100 minute race.

Ten food trucks including Macarollin’, Le Petit Poutine, and Chef’s Mobile Kitchen will be set up near the finish line on South Avenue.

Rohrbach Brewing Company will have three bars located throughout the interior of the course serving local favorites like Railroad IPA, Scotch Ale, and Highland Lager.

For more information about the Rochester Twilight Criterium, including suggested viewing locations, event history, and full lists of food and drink options, visit

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