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While the Chicago region’s population grew by 18 percent since 1980, the traffic increased by 66 percent in the same period.

Bike racing downtown – Chicago Criterium rolls this Sunday

Ranked last year by USA Cycling as the number one race in the nation, the Chicago Criterium returns to Grant Park this Sunday, July 26.

Designed by Active Trans' and XXX Racing – AthletiCo's own Randy Warren, the course is not very technical – just four left turns and a quick chicane – but is placed in probably the most ideal location imaginable for both fans and riders alike. 

 

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From the start finish line by Buckingham Fountain on Columbus Drive, they head west on Monroe to deal with the first of two kickers (small hills) on the bridge over the Metra tracks.   The racers then hit Michigan Ave, where they briefly round the exit and entrance ramps to Congress, before dashing back out onto the famed boulevard, then turn left on Balbo back over the Metra tracks, and finally say a quick prayer before taking Turn 4 at full downhill speed and sprinting all out for the line and a huge payout.

There will be numerous accoutrements for fans along the course – including VIP tents and food and beverage venders – and the course location offers virually unlimited prime viewing areas.

There are still opportunities to register online for Sunday's race until 4pm today.  Day-of race registration is available as well.