Criterium racing returns to Pueblo on Sunday

by | May 12, 2010 | News Articles

Fit to be Tied Column

May 12, 2010
From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi GaryFranchi

Criterium racing returns to Pueblo on Sunday

Carla Flores has been a cycling extraordinaire for many years and now she wants to give back to the sport by bringing criterium racing back to Pueblo after a two-year hiatus.

So, she has teamed with Angelo’s Pizza owner Richard Foresta and long-time friend Ron Ferguson to stage the Angelo’s Criterium de Pueblo this Sunday in the Union Avenue Historic District. It will include 12 different divisions and all categories and ages of competitors, even a shorter race for kids 8 and under (free use of helmets), and racing will begin at 8 a.m. until 6 o’clock. She’s especially hoping to lure some veteran cyclists back into competition.

“I’d really like to get some Pueblo master people back to racing,” said Flores, who wants to make the event an annual addition to the state calendar. Although the event is scheduled a day after another criterium in Colorado, she hopes to draw some out-of-town entries as well. “There are lots of cyclists in Colorado Springs, Denver and Boulder and we figure to get some of those.”

Racers must have an American Cycling Association membership, and one-day ACA licenses can be purchased at race check-in. This will be Schwab Cycling production and Great Divide Ski, Bike & Hike will provide mechanical support. There will be $5,000 distributed in prize money and merchandise, and it will includes primes for particular course loops.

Criterium racing provides an exciting rush for cyclists, with speed and tactics like drafting, blocking and overtaking the modus operandi. It’s a spectator’s delight too, with viewers able to see a good chunk of a race from one location. That will certainly be possible Sunday for those who get situated anywhere along the course that measures eight-tenths of a mile and includes Union Avenue, C St., D St. and Victoria Ave.

Registration is available at Angelo’s Pizza on the Riverwalk or online at Race day registration will begin at 7 a.m. and will close 30 minutes prior to each category start. Proceeds will go to the Dorcy Cancer Center at St. Mary-Corwin Hospital. The kids race is free (parents must sign a release form).

The event includes some extra fun frills on the eve of the event and while it is taking place. At 6:30 Saturday evening, there will be a costume cruiser bike parade, and a party with music, beer and pizza for $10 on the outdoor patio at Angelo’s. The costume winner will get a front-row seat for the criterium the next day. Registration for Sunday will take place there that entire day, and there will be a movie showing there. Sunday will include a festival that will include close to 30 vendors on Victoria Ave., and it will have an “Earth Day in May” theme.

For more information, contact Flores at 406-3939 or at


The memory of Rio Martinez will be rekindled in the Greenhorn Valley on May 29 with the 13th annual Run for Rio, a race that pays tribute to the former Rye High School student/athlete who died in an accident in 1997 just prior to the start of his senior year. The race is based at Rye High on a beautiful and rolling course through the neighborhood streets of Rye at a 6,900-foot altitude. The race helps fund a scholarship for a graduating Rye High student each year and also promotes the Colorado Organ & Tissue Donor Registry since Rio’s organs were donated to the registry.

For the first time since the race was founded in Pueblo more than 30 years ago, the Women’s Distance Festival on June 26 will not be held in City Park. The new venue for the 5K run/walk will be on the new trail around Minnequa Lake. Look for details on this soon.

Runners and walkers will get to test themselves on the Spank Blasing course on June 5 when the Prevent-a-Thon 5K run and 2M walk to combat diabetes will be held at CSU-Pueblo with an 8 a.m. start. The following week (June 12) will be the Spirit Fest 5K on the Riverwalk, with the overall first place male and female getting a membership to World Gym of Pueblo.


Marathoners on cropping up like weeds in spring. First we had two locals successfully complete the Boston Marathon last month when Gregory Berryman, 54, of Pueblo West ran a 3:44 and Catherine Gomez of Pueblo finished in 4:02. Then there were 15 Pueblo/Pueblo West finishers in the Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins on Mother’s Day (May 9) and three more at the Colfax Marathon in Denver this past Sunday. Shawn Loppnow led the Colorado Marathon contingent in 3:31 and others were Christopher Pittman (3:48), Dave Diaz (3:52), Denise Crepeau (3:58), Tarryn Haas (3:58), Kris Spinuzzi (4:08), Chris Obert (4:24, Victor Boley (4:30), Laurie Hadley (4:32), Paul LaBar (4:36), Rebecca Medina (4:42), Kelly Firestone (4:45), Patricia Cisneros (4:47), Tamra Rudolph (4:57) and Marilyn Vargas (4:58). Running the Colfax were Robert Santoyo (3:55), Carol Kinzy (4:09) and Paula McCabe (4:12). And Cheryl Cook-McCoy, 65, ran the Trestle Valley Marathon in Minot, ND, late last month in 5:39.

Bolder Boulder

Like the Spring Runoff in March, the Bolder Boulder will have its 32nd annual 10K run on Memorial Day, and it will be another extravaganza, with eight bands and numerous other forms of entertainment along the course. There will be 88 waves this year, and runners need a qualifying time of 68 minutes or better to get into one of the first 32 waves. Qualifying race distances are anywhere from two miles to marathon distance. Join Pueblo-area runners in Section 215 of Folsom Stadium after you race.

Race Calendar

o Sunday – Yappy Dog (Prediction Series race), 8.6M, 8 a.m., South Mesa Elementary School,
o May 29 – Run for Rio, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m., Rye High School,
o June 5 – Diabetes Prevent-a-thon, 5K, 8 a.m., CSU-Pueblo,
o June 6 – Skyline Drive, 10K run & 5K walk, 7:30 a.m. run, 8 a.m. walk, Graydene Park in Canon Citiy, 275-1578.
o June 12 – Spirit Fest on the Riverwalk, 5K run & 1M fun run for 8-under, 8 a.m., South Main/Riverwalk, 334-1150.
o June 26 – Women’s Distance Festival, 5K, 7 a.m., Minnequa Lake,
o July 4 – Liberty Point 5K, run/walk , 7:30 a.m., Pueblo West, 583-4455.
o July 17 – Mosaic Run, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m., 142 S. Stardust Dr., Pueblo West, 671-3745.

Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at