Pro & Amateur Cyclists to Compete for $50,000 Prize Purse During Weekend of Races

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS June 30, 2017—Hundreds of professional and amateur road cyclists from around the world will descend on Northwest Arkansas on July 7th, 8th, and 9th to compete for their share of a $50,000 prize purse in the second annual Natural State Criterium Series Produced by BikeNWA.

A criterium, or “crit,” is a bicycle race that takes place on a short, closed course on city streets. Dozens of racers form a tight group called a “peloton,” wherein they jockey for place as they navigate hairpin turns and barrel along straightaways at upwards of 35mph. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful downtowns of Bentonville, Rogers, and Springdale, these crits offer spectators an excellent opportunity to watch world-class racers compete while enjoying the best local food and drink.

Frankie Andreu, a nine-time Tour de France competitor during the Lance Armstrong era and one of the most well-respected American pro cyclists, will emcee the races. Andreu will also treat members of Breakaway Cycling, a new local junior development racing team, to a meet-and-greet on Friday in Bentonville. A press conference with Breakaway coaches and team members is scheduled for 1:30PM on Saturday at the finish line in Rogers, immediately following the junior race.

In addition to the main races, the Series features a 1-mile “Summer Sprint” fun run (with proceeds benefiting Travel with Care NWA, a nonprofit initiative of BikeNWA committed to raising safety awareness among motorists, cyclists, runners, and pedestrians), free kids’ races, and an on-street “Fat Tire Crit” for mountain bikers. Organizers invite folks to come out to cheer on the racers and get involved by signing up to be a volunteer or to host out-of-town racers.

“Our goal is to create a world-class event that will engage the community, elevate cycling in the region, and raise money for BikeNWA’s advocacy work to make Northwest Arkansas a more bike-friendly region,” said Ben Craig, Co-Founder and Race Director.

For a full schedule of events, course maps, and other details, visit

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  • July 7th – Downtown Bentonville / Races start at 5:45PM
  • July 8th – Downtown Rogers / Races start at 1PM
  • July 9th – Downtown Springdale / Races start at 8AM