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Snake Alley Criterium Canceled Again

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Rich Egger/TSPR file photo
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Snake Alley Criterium in Burlington

Organizers have called off the annual Memorial Day Weekend bicycle races in Burlington -- for the second year in a row.

Snake Alley Criterium Race Director Tony Martinez said they are concerned for the safety of their volunteers, many of whom are older and thus at greater risk for contracting Covid-19.

He also said the races rely on sponsorship money. 

"(It) seemed like maybe not the best year to be out asking people for sponsorship money for bike races when so many businesses are having a hard time," Martinez said.

He said if they can hold the races in 2022, they'll debut the Friday Night Criterium to replace the Highway 99 Road Race. He said it would be an evening race through downtown Burlington that he describes as "flat and fast."

Aside from the Friday night event, Martinez said much of the Snake Alley Criterium should be unchanged.

Martinez said the Criterium usually attracts 400 – 600 riders competing during the Saturday races.

He said it's too early to know what safety measures will be in place for the event next year. He said they will comply with whatever guidelines are set by USA Cycling, which governs the races.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

David Hightower is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.