America has a rich history of criterium racing, a unique form of cycling that stresses high-speed races contested amidst a thriving urban atmosphere. Criterium racing has been the consistent backbone of American cycling since the 1920s when cycling was king. Although an unrecognized discipline by the world governing body of cycling, criterium racing brings a unique set of skills to the sport and as such needs its own ranking and points system. Because criteriums are historically run on short laps through city streets, they offer spectators the opportunity to watch Olympians and world and national champions up close as they ride at top speeds for up to two hours. Criterium racing’s ability to combine the most exciting elements of popular sports with the large-scale appeal of downtown arts and music festivals has made it the most enduring form of cycling in North America and the most spectator-friendly form of cycling with an ever-growing following of fans. When staged according to time-honored traditions, these races often draw more than 15,000-20,000 fans per event.
USA CRITS was developed to feature criterium riders and to offer venues, teams and riders the ability to excel in a unique discipline of cycling. The events that form the USA CRITS showcase the ideals that make criterium racing an American legacy: challenging courses that feature arts and entertainment districts, a large and growing base of spectators, broad community support, and strong marketing opportunities for partners.
As the country’s leading producer of criterium racing, Swagger has over 50 years of combined experience as a sports marketing and event management organization. Swagger has managed America’s premier criterium, Athens Twilight, in Athens, GA, since 1980.