Eight days and five fun and challenging bike races - that’s what’s on tap for this year’s New England Crit Week. Beginning on Sunday, June 24th and running through Sunday, July 1, the series will attract racers across New England as they compete not only for individual wins at each race, but for the overall leader’s prize purse and coveted jersey - a custom, bright blue, top-of-the-line VERGE Sport piece from their 2018 collection. The series also awards teamwork, with an overall omnium for the team earning the most points throughout the series. Returning to the series in 2018 are the Greenfield Criterium (June 24), the Exeter Classic (June 26), and the Longsjo Classic (June 30 and July 31). New in 2018, the Gran Prix of Beverly will take place on June 28th bringing one of New England’s premiere events to the series.
Team and individual leaders are awarded at the conclusion of each race with the overall prize purse and awards reserved for the final day of racing. Omnium points are earned at each race based on final placement, in addition to point primes - laps during which extra omnium points are available for the first person to cross the line during a specific lap. The omnium competitions adds a layer of complexity to the racing, and provides a space for teamwork to truly shine.
“The New England Crit Week team omnium provided a unique opportunity for our team to work together and and collaborate,” said Meredith Moran, a Jamaica Plain resident and member of Green Line Velo’s elite women’s team. “Cycling is a team sport, but it can often be difficult to race in a fearless and self-sacrificing way to truly protect your team leader. As we set goals and came up with plans as a team, we all made huge strides in evaluating our strengths and weaknesses as riders, learning to trust each other, and pushing beyond what we had previously thought our limitations to be.”
The beauty of a series like New England Crit Week is its simplicity. Each of these races have stood and could continue to stand on their own. Each has a unique feel and contributes something a little different to the bike racing scene in New England. Some, like the concluding race in Fitchburg, are known for their history. The Longsjo is a classic race that this year celebrates its 58th edition. Others, like the Exeter Classic and Gran Prix of Beverly epitomize downtown New England racing with notoriously technical courses and electric crowds. The youngest race of the series - the Greenfield Criterium - offers a grassroots community feel with a flying-fast, four-corner, one-kilometer course.
Add a bit of collaboration to five fantastic races and a series is born - one that people can motivate for, plan their season around, or travel to from other regions to experience great New England racing on a compact schedule. “New England Crit Week ties together some of the best downtown races in New England and helps to tell the story of a uniquely American racing format,” says JD Bilodeau, coordinator for the New England Bicycle Racing Association. “The races in New England Crit Week have featured some of America’s greatest cyclists and serve as both a link to New Englands racing past and a platform to showcase for our region’s current top riders.”
For more information about New England Crit Week, please visit the series website at necritweek.com. For questions about individual races, additional information is available at the following locations:
Greenfield Criterium | June 24 | greenfieldcrit.com | bikereg.com/greenfield
Exeter Classic | June 26 | exeterclassic.com | bikereg.com/exeter-classic-criterium
Gran Prix of Beverly | June 28 | granprixbeverly.com | bikereg.com/gpbeverly18
Longsjo Classic | June 30 - July 1 | longsjo.com | bikereg.com/longsjo-classic