Bicycle Race

The Cherry Pie Criterium, now in its 44th year, will take place on Monday, Feb. 18 in the parking lot of Napa Valley College at 8 a.m.

There are 11 different races that are based on age group, sex and skill level. The women’s professional race starts at 10:10 a.m. and the day concludes with the pro men’s race at 4:10 p.m.

Professional cyclists will compete for $500 in prize money in each pro race.

The event is sanctioned by USA Cycling and the Northern California Nevada Cycling Association. The top-3 finishers in each race receive a cherry pie from Model Bakery of Napa, in addition to merchandise. It is sponsored by the Eagle Cycling Club of Napa.

The Cherry Pie Criterium is the first race in the Northern California Junior Race Series.

Cyclists make multiple laps around the one-mile course during the criterium.

Races, which open to boys and girls in juniors divisions, and men and women, are held on a 1.1-mile technical course, which has several turns, in the main parking lot of the college. Cyclists and spectators can park their vehicles at NVC by taking Streblow Drive.

“We’re grateful to the college for letting us use the parking lot,” said Richard Pastcan, race director of the Cherry Pie Criterium.

There were 275 cyclists that competed in last year’s races. “We’re hoping for that many as well,” said Pastcan.

The criterium will be held, rain or shine, said Pastcan. “It’s going to happen no matter what. It appeals to all age groups.”

The criterium includes experienced race mentors who volunteer their time to help provide in-race coaching.

“Our club does it more not to make money, but as a service to the young riders,” said Pastcan. “There are mentor riders that come, that help the new riders kind of learn the ropes.”

Sponsors of the event include Velo Pizzeria, Clif Family Winery, BicycleWorks, the Hub, Napa River Velo and Napa Valley Velo.

To register for the criterium, go to https://www.bikereg.com/cherry-pie.

For more information, or to find out about serving as a volunteer, contact cherrypie@eaglecycleclub.org.

It’s open to the public at no charge.

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Executive Sports Editor

Executive Sports Editor Marty James has been with the Napa Valley Register since 1979. He is a member of the Associated Press Sports Editors, California Prep Sportswriters Association, and the California Golf Writers Association. He was inducted into the