A criterium is a biycle race conducted on a short course over roads that have been closed to traffic, usually consisting of multiple laps on a winding, looped track.

But that is just the pared down definition. Seeing a criterium, or “crit,” in real life is one of the most exciting spectator sports there is!

Races commonly last an hour, with length determined by the number of laps or total time. There’s never a dull moment as the peloton, the term for a pack of riders, negotiates corners at high speeds, with wheels only fractions of inches apart. They stick together until one or several riders are able to shoot to the front of the pack, gaining advantage on pure strength alone. Those who have ridden off the front are often reeled back in shortly after due to the peloton’s  strength of numbers and decreased air resistance. As a result, the lead often changes many times during the crit, and riders work in teams to put their strongest contestants in the lead.

The crit has it all: excitement, strategy, strength, and speed. Don’t miss the Tower Grove Criterium!

About the Neighborhood

Tower Grove Park

Tower Grove Park was founded on October 20, 1868, as a gift from Henry Shaw to the city of St. Louis. Today, as per Shaw’s estate, Tower Grove Park is the only public city park in the City of St. Louis to be managed by an independent Board of Commissioners and staff.  Shaw’s particular interest in the classics and European travel are reflected today in the Victorian architecture of the Park’s historical treasures.

  • Approximately 2.5 million annual visitors
  • Three playgrounds, nine asphalt and three grass tennis courts, seven miles of running/walking trails, twelve softball/kickball fields, six soccer fields, three baseball fields, and other open green spaces for sports and recreation
  • Ten historic pavilions and four picnic sites for affordable gatherings and events
  • Free wading pool and Muckerman fountain welcome thousands for cool relief each summer
  • More than 200,000 annually attend cultural events such as Festival of Nations, Food Truck Friday, and Tower Grove Farmers’ Market
  • Free concerts from the St. Louis Symphony and Compton Heights Community Band, and the Summer Children’s Concert Series offer music throughout the year for local audiences