Volunteers needed for 3-day bike racing event July 7-9

Photo: Biff Stephens

Anyone who enjoys the annual Joe Martin Stage Race criterium in downtown Fayetteville should be excited about the upcoming Natural State Criterium Series.

The three-day event includes professional and amateur crit races in Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale beginning Friday, July 7 and lasting through Sunday, July 9.

As one of 12 stops on the 2017 American Road Calendar, the event is expected to draw several high-level pro cycling teams, as well as amateur cyclists from at least a dozen states – all competing for a portion of this year’s $50,000 prize purse.

The event is organized by BikeNWA to help showcase the downtown communities in Northwest Arkansas and to help the cycling culture thrive in the area.

Races begin Friday evening from 5-11 p.m. in downtown Bentonville on a figure-8 course along Main Street, NE A Street and NW A Street.

Saturday’s races are from 12-10 p.m. in downtown Rogers on a rectangular course along West Walnut Street, 1st Street, Poplar Street and 7th Street.

New for 2017 is a downtown Springdale race on Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on a figure-8 course that will send riders speeding along Emma and Johnson avenues by the new Walter Turnbow Park at Shiloh Square.

Also planned this year is a fat tire crit for mountain bikers, kids races and a 1-mile run.

Organizers said volunteers are needed to help facilitate the races, particularly in Springdale and Rogers. Volunteer options range from hauling hay bales to registering racers and marshaling the courses. Anyone interested in volunteering should visit the event’s Signup.com page for more information.

» Volunteers click here

Racers looking to compete at one or more of the events should visit the race website. Pre-registration is $20-$50 per race, with fees increasing by $10 the day of the event.

» Racers click here

Course and parking maps

Video by Peter Steiger via YouTube