‘805 Criterium Weekend’ Expands Bike Races and Spectator Revelry with Support from “Explore Lompoc” June 19-21


Three-Day Bike Racing Event Ups the Spectating Ante with Live Music, Beer, Wine, Food and Family Fun, to include Cycling Industry Expo, Kids Bike Races and Father’s Day Festival Finale

The 2015 805 Criterium Weekend, to be held Father’s Day Weekend, Friday through Sunday, June 19 through June 21, 2015, will, this year, encompass both bike racing and spectator events on all three days, in two different “805” cities on California’s scenic Central Coast. Originally a single day of racing on Avenue of Flags in Buellton, California, the 805 Criterium, now in its fourth year, has expanded to include three separate race days in both Lompoc and Buellton, as well as spectator festivities on all three days such as live music, food trucks, beer and wine gardens, and a Father’s Day weekend blowout for the whole family with free Kids Bike Races on both Saturday (Buellton)  and Sunday (Lompoc), on the same courses that the pros will ride.

The 2015 805 Criterium Weekend Omnium will award race winners with more than $45,000 in cash and prizes, and will benefit the Lompoc Police Foundation , which raises funds for services, equipment and education in support of the City of Lompoc Police Department’s mission. The event’s expansion was made possible in part due to new title sponsor, Explore Lompoc – the Lompoc Valley’s Tourism Business Improvement District – through Explore Lompoc’s new Grant Funding Program.

“This event now has triple the impact of its original incarnation: it attracts some serious professional racers and all that they bring with them, to the Lompoc Valley and the Sta. Rita Hills; it also opens the racing up to amateurs, and serves as an introduction to the sport for kids; and it both supports and entertains the local communities who show up to catch all of the racing action, and to partake in our three days of spectator activities,” said Michael Hecker, USA Cycling  Race Director and the event’s originator.

805 Criterium Weekend will kick off with the expanded “805 Hancock Twilight Criterium”, Friday, June 19, with racing from 11:00 AM to about 8:00 PM. The Hancock Twilight Criterium, a 1.3-mile closed loop course, will take shape at Allan Hancock College Lompoc Valley Center’s Public Safety Training Complex , on the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course. Sugar and Salt Creamery’s artisan sorbet truck and Wild West Pizza will satiate hungry Friday race spectators.

Saturday, June 20 brings the second day of racing and more spectating fun, with a race start of 7:00 AM, on the Avenue of Flags 805 Criterium course in Buellton. The tight .7-mile loop weaves around the interior spectator zone, which will include a festival wine and beer garden featuring Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Standing Sun Wines, Lucky Dogg Winery , Sugar and Salt Creamery and Alfresco Picnic; free Kids Races, bounce houses and live music; and a cycling industry rep and local vendor expo section including the likes of Dr. J’s Bicycle Shop, Specialized  and CALSTAR. Racing and watching on “day two” wraps up at about 5:30 PM.

The culmination of the 805 Criterium Weekend event is the Father’s Day Festival on Sunday, June 21. Sunday’s racing portion, the “805 Valley of Flowers Criterium” presented by the City of Lompoc begins at 7:00 AM at Walnut Avenue and H Street, in Lompoc. The 1.1-mile course will be shared by racers of all levels, including a second day of free children’s races, a beer garden, food trucks, live music, cycling industry vendor booths, and more family fun.

Each of the three days of the USA Cycling sanctioned races is open to riders of all skill levels and ages, while the free Saturday and Sunday Kids Bike Races cover the youngest demo of Pre-K through 6th grade. The entire race weekend will host more than 500 Licensed USA Cycling racers.

“This event’s now listed on USA Cycling’s national events calendar, and the races have reached an elevated status,” added Hecker. “The goal of the event weekend is to bring a matching caliber of racer – and spectator – to Lompoc and its environs, and for the surrounding communities to celebrate something that’s going towards a great cause, and to experience a seriously exciting weekend of racing.”

Spectators will be able to enjoy free admission to the race’s food, beverage and expo areas. Paid race registration is required for both amateur and professional racers, who may register at 805critweek.org.

More information about the June 2015 805 Criterium Weekend is available at 805critweek.org.

Photos ©  Christy Nicholson / EchelonDesignPhoto.com