QC criteriums anchor Memorial Day weekend of cycling

Kwik Star, Melon City races back again

criteriums cyclists
The Kwik Star Criterium will return to the Village of East Davenport on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. CREDIT KWIK STAR CRITERIUM

The 57th Kwik Star Criterium will roll out on Monday, May 27, in the Village of East Davenport just one day after cyclists from the U.S. Canada and Europe hit the starting line for the 44th Melon City Criterium in nearby Muscatine.

The three-leg Memorial Day weekend of racing kicks off on Saturday, May 25, at the Snake Alley Criterium in Burlington, Iowa. The 27-block course is in a downtown commercial area and historic residential district. It includes the historic brick street named Snake Alley known as “the crookedest street in the world.” 

On Sunday, Nay 26, the Melon City Criterium features a flowing Muscatine course that fans say has a little something for every kind of racer.

As for the Quad Cities weekend anchor event, the Kwik Star Criterium has been a fixture in the Quad Cities community for decades, It has made its home at the challenging and exciting course in the Village of East Davenport since 2014.

Village joins the fun

The setting gives cyclists and fans alike a great day of racing and fun, organizers say. Featured this Memorial Day are 12 Criterium bicycle races. There is also a Kids Race, a Kids Play Area and bouncy house sponsored by the Village Business Association.

The full day of racing includes competitive male and female riders from novice to professional. They will take to a hilly course that provides exciting chases and thrilling speeds.

East Village bars and restaurants are opening up shop to all spectators and racers for food and refreshments. Many are providing outdoor viewing areas and beer gardens along with places for kids to play. 

The more than half-century-old criterium has been a staple in the Quad Cities, with a few short breaks in between, since 1964. That’s when the Quad Cities Bicycle Club was formed. It held its first race in East Moline. It drew 40 participants and some 3,000 spectators, according to a history of the race.

The race began in East Moline. It was called The Kermess, Belgian for “around the house.” It moved to Moline in 1965 and was renamed the Moline Criterium. The criterium made a stop in Rock Island for several years eventually relocating to the Village of East Davenport.

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