What is Road Racing?
Road racing in Michigan largely consists of three sub-disciplines: road races, criteriums and time-trials. Some road events feature all three disciplines in what is known as an omnium or a stage race. The following descriptions of each are adapted from USA Cycling’s EnCYCLINGpedia, which is an excellent resource for more information.
Road races are draft legal, team-oriented, mass-start events. Road races generally take place on public roads and can be point-to-point races or multiple circuits of a loop anywhere from 5 to 25 miles in length. In Illinois, road races are always on a loop, not point to point.
During a road race, team members generally work together to gain an advantage over other riders, usually designating one person as team leader. The team leader is determined prior to the race and can be based on several factors including the course’s terrain, a rider’s fitness level and the competition.
Road races are a great way to try out racing as they are not as corner intensive as crits and because they are longer keeping the speed a little lower. You can think of them as a fast paced group ride, without the halfway stop at the coffee shop, of course.
Criteriums, often referred to as just crits, are fast-paced events, usually 15-50 miles in length which last between thirty minutes and two hours. The short, closed circuit course features several corners and gives spectators the opportunity to view most of the race.
Although not an internationally-recognized discipline, criterium racing is purely American and one of the most common forms of competitive cycling in the United States. Designed for spectators, criteriums are races held on short circuits, typically in an urban setting.
In criteriums, the pace is fast from the gun as riders can average up to 30 miles per hour for the duration of the race. Quick acceleration and keen bike handling skills are paramount to success in a criterium.
Time Trials or TTs pit individuals against the clock instead of each other. It’s the most basic form of competitive cycling and the rules are simple: the athlete with the fastest time over a given distance is the winner.
Like road races, the time trial usually takes place on public roads and can be a point-to-point race or multiple laps of a circuit. In a race against the clock, results are often determined by fractions of a second. Some time-trial racers choose to use very aerodynamic equipment, such as specially shaped aerodynamic helmets, one-piece skinsuits and special handlebars which allow a rider to get into a more aerodynamic position.
Base Media Michigan Road Race Series
Races denoted below with a (MRRS) are a part of the Base Media Michigan Road Race Series.
2017 USAC Road, Crit and TT Events
Saturday, April 8th - MSU Strade Marrone TT - Laingsburg, MI
Sunday, April 9th - University of Michigan Criterium - Ann Arbor, MI
Saturday, April 29th - Willow TT (MRRS) - New Boston, MI
Saturday, May 6th - Kent ISD Criterium - Grand Rapids, MI
Friday, June 16th - Zeeland Criterium - Zeeland, MI
Sunday, June 18th - Vuelta a Puerto Sheldon - Port Sheldon, MI
Cancelled: Sunday, July 16th - Hines Drive TT - Dearborn Heights, MI
Cancelled: Saturday, July 22nd - Capital City Cycling Classic (MRRS) - Lansing, MI
Sunday, August 6th - State Games of America TT & Great Lakes Classic Road Race - Ottawa County, MI
Sunday Showdown/Kent ISD Training Series
Sunday, April 2nd, Sunday Showdown #1
Sunday, April 9th, Sunday Showdown #2
Sunday, April 30th, Sunday Showdown #3
Waterford Spring Training Series
Saturday, April 8th, Waterford Spring Training Series #1
Saturday, April 15th, Waterford Spring Training Series #2
Saturday, April 22nd, Waterford Spring Training Series #3
Ann Arbor Spring Training Series & BRP
Sunday, April 23rd, Ann Arbor Spring Training Series #1
Sunday, April 30th, Ann Arbor Spring Training Series #2
Sunday, May 7th, Ann Arbor Spring Training Series #3
Sunday, May 14th, Ann Arbor Spring Training Series #4
Sunday, May 21st, Ann Arbor Spring Training Series #5
Ada Time Trials - Every Monday, May through August.
Waterford Race Series - Every Other Wednesday, May through August.
Grattan Race Series - Wednesday Evenings, May through August.
For events from all types riding, see our consolidated calendar.
For the 2016, Michigan Challenge Road Series click here.