Land Park Criterium

Promoter: Sacramento Golden Wheelmen

Course: A one mile flat oval with two “detours” thrown in.

Course Description: I’ll use the track convention of an oval course having four corners. Turn one goes into the first oval, turn two comes out, etc. Turns one and two are flat, smooth and no problem. There’s a slight uphill grade going into turn three. Into Turn three there is a left turn of about 120 degrees followed by a similar right, a 90 degree right and a sweeping left that puts you back onto the original oval. Coming out of turn four you will make another “detour”. This time a sweeping left, followed by a 90 degree right and a sweeping left. From here it is about 400 meters to the finish line.

These changes have made the course MUCH safer than it was in the past.

Distances: 45 to 75 minutes depending on your category.

Road Surface: Mostly pretty good pavement. Watch for rough sections on the inside of the final turn.

Gearing: Flat criterium gears.

Facilities: Bathroom and porta cans. Various restaurants, grocery stores, etc. on Freeport Blvd.

Weather: Generally cool, rain is possible. The grass in Land Park is invariably wet. Watch your step if you don’t want to get muddy shoes, cleats, or wheels.

Feeding: N/A

Rules Specific to this race: Standard criterum rules.

Race Advice: This criterium used to be somewhat notorious for its crashes. You’d think that a course with no real corners and wide roads would be a fairly crash free course, but those were the main reasons behind the crashes. The problem is that it was WAY too easy to sit in the pack and not expend any energy at all. When you got to the last few laps everybody was fresh as a daisy and ready to fight out the finish. That coupled with a big wide road to pass on can lead to trouble.

With the new course, all that has changed. The two “detours” will string the field out much more and make for a better, safer race. Also this makes the race much more likely to end in a break away as opposed to the usual field sprint.

Riders tend to either love or hate this course. It was my first USCF race back
in 1985 and I come back every year.

This race is also the unofficial “World Sacramento Criterium Championship”. Only Sacramento area riders can win the championship. But you actually have to win the race for bragging rights, not just place as the top Sacramento person.

Lodging: John Elgart lives about two miles from the course. He said that anybody that wants to can stay with him. Okay, not really. Lodging should be easy to find in Sacramento.

Corrections and additions, please email me!

Kevin Metcalfe