People from all over the world came together at Arizona State University this past Sunday for the love of bikes and racing.
The third annual Sun Devil Criterium, held Feb. 5 at ASU's Tempe campus, is one of the biggest bike races in the state.
A total of 380 racers registered for the criterium, which is sponsored by the ASU Cycling Club and features 14 different races.
“The thing about this race is that it is not just for pros,” said Gabriel Perez, a junior at ASU studying design studies and management. “Anyone who likes bikes can come out and have a good time.”
Perez has been a part of the ASU Cycling Club for three years and said that this race is about creating a great atmosphere and opportunity for the community to try something new.
“We have our beach cruiser race, and that’s when people who haven’t ever raced can come out and ride,” Perez said.
While the criterium caters to all age ranges and experience levels, it also draws professionals from all over the world.
Jessica Mundy traveled from her home in Australia and was participating in a camp in Scottsdale. She decided to stay back just for this race.
“It’s a good atmosphere to see on campus,” Mundy said, “It’s very different from what we have at home.”
This is Mundy’s first full year as a pro racer, and she plans to travel to Europe later this month to continuing racing before she returns to the U.S.
Mundy said she enjoyed participating in the Women’s Pro 1/2 category race and encouraged new riders to come out and try this course at ASU.
“This was a great event today, and I hope that others come out to try the course and just have a fun time!”
The sense of inclusion and community are at the core of the organization of this particular criterium.
“It’s a great, big, race for the Phoenix community and for Arizona really,” said Alissa Albrecht, president of the ASU Cycling club. “It’s amazing to see everyone come down and enjoy it.”
The main event of the day was the collegiate race, which pits four universities against each other: ASU, the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and the University of New Mexico.
There were three rounds of collegiate races. ASU’s Andrew Rankine won the Men’s Collegiate C race. University of Arizona racers won the Men’s Collegiate A and B and Women’s B, while ASU also took second and third place.
Perez said that University of Arizona has a much larger team, but ASU’s main goals are to keep good team tactics and represent ASU well.
“After four races, it takes a toll on your legs, but we have team tactics so we can do these races well as a team, not just individuals,” Perez said.
“We had a great turnout, and I’m hoping that continues,” Albrecht said.
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