Courthouse Crit circles downtown for a ninth year

Local race is part of Oregon Cup series

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For the ninth time, the Vancouver Courthouse Criterium will bring bicycle racers of all ages and abilities to downtown Vancouver on Sunday.

Racing begins at 12:30 p.m. with a special two-lap tandem ride featuring students from the Washington State School for the Blind, which benefits from a portion of entry fees along with donations raised during the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association event.

photoVancouver Courthouse Crit

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The start and finish line for the eight-turn, figure-8 course is at the intersection of 12th and Daniels. From there, the course travels one block west, turns north for one block on Esther, west one block on 13th, south one block on Franklin, east on 12th, then south on Esther to 11th, east two blocks to Columbia, north one block to 12th, then west one block to the start/finish line.

Those streets, in some cases with a one-block buffer, will be closed from noon until 7 p.m. Cars parked along the race route at 11:30 a.m. will be towed.

In criterium races, the winner is the rider who completes the most laps in the allotted time. Prizes are also awarded to winners of designated sprint laps during each race.

The Vancouver Courthouse Crit is part of the Oregon Cup series. In the senior men's division, the one-hour race begins at 5:20 p.m. Series leader Tim Reinhart is injured and not expected to race. Entered riders include Cliff Heaberlin (second in points), Stephen Bedford (third) and Evan Siroky fifth place.

Some of the top women in the season long OBRA best all-around rider competition will participate in the senior women's 40-minute race that starts at 3:45 p.m. Among them is Anna Christiansen of Portland who in June won the best amateur rider award at the Nature Valley Grand Prix, a USA Cycling National Race Series event in Minnesota.

Competition begins with children's races at 12:40 p.m. (6 and younger), 12:45 p.m. (ages 7-9) and 12:50 p.m. (ages 10-12).

The first scoring race, at 1 p.m., will be for the slower category riders.

Entry fees are $30 per rider at the event, and those who are not OBRA members must also buy a single-race ($5) or season ($25) membership.

At least $1,200 in cash and prizes will be awarded.

Spectators are welcome, but must stay on sidewalks.