Downtown Littleton becomes racetrack for Criterium

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Downtown Littleton became a racetrack on Aug. 3, as the 7th annual Twilight Criterium saw 140 professional bicyclists — and more than a few amateurs — fly down city streets.

The race was the second-to-last of 10 pro street track races in the national series, with the final held Aug. 10 in Pennsylvania.

While cyclists hit speeds of up to 30 mph around a tight 10-block track, spectators lounged in sidewalk cafes or grooved to live music at Bega Park.

Hillary and Matt Allen of Parker, who dropped their kids off at a babysitter in Centennial on the way over, said they were pleasantly surprised by how family-friendly the event was.

“Next year I think we'll bring the kids,” Matt said.

“Although I won't lie, it's nice having a date night,” Hillary added.

Littleton's race was a great one, said Emma Bast of Washington, D.C., who competed in the women's professional race.

“You guys have fun crowds here,” Bast said. “This is one of few in the series where the women are actually racing at twilight — it makes it harder to see, so that's an added challenge. That and the altitude!”

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