Monday, May 29, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Village of East Davenport IA
Hosted by the Quad Cities Bicycle Club and returning to the Village of East Davenport, an eagerly anticipated Memorial Day tradition returns for its 56th year in the Quad Cities Kwik Star Criterium – a May 29 event featuring hundreds of adult and youth cyclists from across the U.S., Canada, and Europe participating in a dozen bicycle races, with thousands of dollars in cash prizes awarded throughout the day.
The history of the Quad Cities Criterium is interwoven with that of the Quad Cities Bicycle Club. On January 10 of 1964, interested bicyclists were invited to attend the first meeting of this organization that had specific missions; to promote, encourage, and support safe participation in bicycle riding of all ages and abilities, and to anticipate and address the needs and interests of all aspects of bicycling in the Quad Cities area. In September of that year, a race was held in East Moline that drew more than 40 participants and an estimated crowd of nearly 3,000 spectators, and prompted the start of a race in Moline's Seventh Street area in May of 1965. Fifty-one riders competed that year, yet by the time of the 1998 race – with the Criterium having relocated to downtown Rock Island – that number had grown to 568, with roughly 18,000 spectators in attendance.
By 2004, the Quad Cities Criterium was on the United States Cycling Federation National Racing Calendar as one of the top 35 criteriums in the country, and spectators were treated to competitions between national level pro teams and high-quality Midwest riders. The 39th anniversary in 2006 marked the Quad Cities Criterium as the longest-running sporting event in the Quad Cities and one of the oldest in the country, and changes to the annual program included a bicycle rodeo, pancake breakfast, child-ID presentation, and an additional women's race. In 2014, the Quad Cities Criterium made its way to the Village of East Davenport, with the riders' newly challenging course boasting 90 feet of elevation gain per lap. This full day of racing featuring competitive men and women riders from novice to professional, while the hilly course provides exciting chases and thrilling speeds for riders and viewers alike.
John Harrington of the Quad Cities Bicycle club added, "“Each year we select a Veterans organization to receive $1000 just before the Kwik Star Criterium Ford Pro Men's race at 4:20 p.m. on Memorial Day. The Final Salute is this year's recipient. Lanae Strovers created The Final Salute to bury unclaimed veterans’ cremated remains with full honors. It’s her life’s cause and we want to help her this year.” Lanae Strovers, Hamilton’s Southern Funeral Home Director located in Des Moines, said, “We are deeply humbled to be considered for this year’s donation. This year alone we have laid to rest 13 unclaimed bringing the total to over 45 veterans laid to rest over the last six years.”
The 2023 Quad Cities Kwik Star Criterium in the Village of East Davenport, which begins at 9 a.m. and last until roughly 6 p.m., will also feature children's activities including the Koehler Electric Kids Race starting at 3:10 p.m., with entrants ages three to 10 receiving a medal and complimentary ice cream. For more information on the May 29 event, visit QuadCitiesCriterium.com.