ABOUT | THE AMERICAN CRITERIUM CUP
The American Criterium Cup is a ten race criterium series that elevates the stature of criterium racing in the United States.
Why A Criterium Series?
Criteriums are the dominant form of road bicycle racing in the United States. Proven to be both sustainable and popular with the athlete, public, and sponsors, the best criteriums in the U.S. have existed uninterrupted for several decades, attract thousands of spectators, and are consistent and stable fixtures for American bicycle racing.
Despite their dominance, American criteriums have always been a US phenomenon, with some camps believing European-style road and stage races are the only “real” kind of bike racing. The American Criterium Cup exists to promote criterium racing proudly and unabashedly as a separate and independent style of bike racing.
Some in the bike racing community view criteriums as a means to an end, a way to get noticed enough to be picked up by a team with a presence in Europe. Using a baseball reference, one promoter called the U.S. the Dominican Republic of cycling where the whole goal was to get good enough to get hired by a team in another country. Formula One and NASCAR are a good analogy for American bicycle racing. NASCAR established itself as a stand-alone motor sport independent of F-1 and its drivers do not view NASCAR as a mere steppingstone to F-1, but as a goal in itself.
The time is right for criterium racing to claim its independence as ‘American Racing.’ The American Criterium Cup will make sure that both the events and the athletes achieve success.
What is the American Criterium Cup?
The series is led by a group of independent criterium race organizers in collaboration with, and supported by USA Cycling, with input from professional and domestic teams and athletes.
Each event has pledged to execute each event with standards of excellence, high production quality, and safety. Organizers of the series have pledged a $100,000 series purse to be split equally among men and women. Additionally, a minimum prize list of $7,500 per gender per event will be expected. Each event has pledged to allocate resources to produce a 10 race, series long, streamed video narrative to showcase the teams, individuals, and communities that comprise the American Criterium Cup.