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Fans, riders excited for Twilight Criterium in downtown Boise

Posted at 10:19 PM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-16 13:28:45-04

The Twilight Criterium pedals off in downtown Boise on Saturday.

Thousands are expected to watch the races, which have taken on a new route this year.

It is a race with three decades of history. Cyclists from around the world are in the City of Trees getting ready to compete for glory and cash prizes.

It is a race two-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong holds dear to her heart.

"It's a historical race. In fact, there are very few sporting events where the town rallies and comes out in full force," said Armstrong.

This year's race has a different route, and organizers say it is all because of the construction in downtown Boise. Races will start and finish in front of the Capitol building on Jefferson Street. The route will circle sixth and ninth Street on Bannock street. Organizers say the new route will provide a better fan experience.

"Using Capitol Park, we are able to bring in some craft beers. We are going to have five different companies pouring beer on Saturday, and we get to use the most iconic building in the state of Idaho as our backdrop," explained race director Mike Cooley.

Racers say this new route will not affect them. Some say Boise is one of the best places to bike, and they are just happy to take it all in.

"It's my favorite race -- just the town, the fans, the way the race is put on, and everything. The whole weekend is a total blast," said elite amateur cyclist Pete Morris.

The races kick off Saturday at 1:15 p.m.