Presented by the City of Buellton, the non-profit Santa Ynez Valley Cycling Club (SYVCC) in cooperation with SG Productions, the first-ever Firestone Walker Avenue of Flags Criterium is gearing up to roll into downtown Buellton on Saturday, March 31, 2012.

According to Race Director Michael Hecker, “Criterium bike racing is held on short courses that take place on temporarily closed-off city streets. We are thrilled to bring this exciting one-day race to the City of Buellton, gateway to the Santa Ynez Valley. Criteriums are great for live spectators; you can see the cyclists race by many times as they make the circuit around the historic Avenue of Flags. The public is invited to attend any/all of the entire day of bike racing; and encouraged to participate in the amateur and Free Kids’ Races. There will be a Free Bike Expo, a free Kids Bike Safety Zone and for the adults, a Firestone Walker Brewery tent and an Avant Tapas & Wine tent. We encourage everyone to come out and share this outstanding day of racing in Buellton.”

David Walker, co-owner of Firestone Walker Brewery, is excited to be sponsoring this first time event. A local for more than 20 years, he expects a lot of energy and excitement to be infused into the community. “This is the first year of something that could become a landmark on the cycling calendar,” Walker said, “we are excited to be working with the City of Buellton and the Santa Ynez Valley Cycling Club to put this on and making it a great draw for the area. Cycling is a great spectator sport, especially with some tasty local beer in your hand!”

Hecker added “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our event sponsors. We’re very pleased with the awesome support from the City of Buellton, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Avant Wine & Tapas and Platinum Performance, just to name a few of our fine sponsors. Because of this excellent level of community support, the Firestone Walker Avenue of Flags Criterium is already the 3rd richest one-day race event in the Southern California/Nevada Region. We are very proud of this accomplishment and look forward to expanding the event to a multi-day Pro/Am Stage Race in years tocome.”

Here are more facts about the Firestone Walker Avenue of Flags Criterium:

Start/Finish Line: Second Street at Avenue of Flags (northbound lanes)

Route: 0.75 mile L-shaped loop with five right-hand, and one left-hand 90-degree turns. The course is fast and rolling with a straight, downhill 800-meter sprint finish. Specific Turn-by-Turn Directions—Begin at Second Street at Avenue of Flags (northbound lanes) heading south; RIGHT onto First Street; RIGHT onto Central Avenue; RIGHT onto Second Street; LEFT onto Avenue of Flags South (traveling northbound); RIGHT onto Damasa Road; RIGHT onto Avenue of Flags North (traveling southbound). Finish Line at Second Street and Avenue of Flags.

Schedule of Races:

Start Time Race Category (* Indicates SoCal Cup Series Race)

6:00 am Registration Opens at Start/Finish Line (Second Street at Avenue of Flags)

7:00 am Men’s Category 5 / Public

7:35 am * Masters Ages 55+ / 60+ & Woman Cat 4 (scored separately)

8:20 am * Men’s Category 4 (Presented by Team One Way)

9:05 am * Masters Ages 45+ Categories 1,2,3,4 (Presented by Central Coast Tire)

9:55 am * Men’s Category 3 (Presented by the Santa Barbara Bicycle Club)

10:55 am * Junior Men Ages 13-14, Ages 17-18 and Women Ages 15-18

11:30 am Masters Ages 35+ 3/4

12:15 pm Jr. Men Ages 15-16; Ages 10-12: Junior Women Ages 10-14

12:50 pm Ages 30+ Categories 4/5

1:25 pm Free Kids Bicycle Races

1:55 pm * Masters 35+ 1,2,3,4

3:00 pm * Professional Women Category 1, 2, 3

3:55 pm * Professional Men Category 1/2

Prizes: Cash prizes for Professional Category cyclists range from $400 to $8,000. Amateur and Kids Race prizes will be a combination of cash, merchandise and/or awards. Prizes will be awarded within 30 minutes of results being official at the Awards Podium located in the Expo Area near the Start /Finish Stage (Second Street at Avenue of Flags).

Expo Participation: Please contact Expo Director Tom Issacson at (805) 451-0785 or or Assistant Expo Director Craig Adams to receive an Expo Registration Form. Cost is on $75 (Buellton Chamber of Commerce Members cost is $50) for a 10’ X 15’ space and includes 1 VIP pass. Additional VIP passes for the day are $35. All details at: Expo-Area-Information.pdf

Kids Bike Safety Zone: According to John Padfield, Kids Races & Kids Zone Coordinator, “This is going to be a lot of fun for the whole family! We’re having two bounce houses, face painting, and other surprise activities geared for the 4-12 year old age group. Kid-friendly cuisine such as grilled hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, chips, sodas & water will be available for sale all day. On race day, kids ages 4-12 years are invited to bring their bicycles or tri-cycles to the start/finish registration area by 12:30pm in front of Pea Soup Andersen’s Restaurant on Avenue of Flags. Our volunteers will help kids and their parents/guardians get registered. Prizes include medals for all entrants along with trophies for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place in each race along with a spot on the podium with photo ops. For more details, contact Padfield via email at

Race Registration: On-line registration is available at and closes March 29, 2012 at 9:00pm (MT). On-site registration on Saturday, March 31, 2012, opens at 6:00am; and is available for 1 hour before each race and closes 15 minutes prior to each race. Race registration fees are FREE for kids and celebrities and range from $20-$40 for professional cyclists. If participating in more than one race category, additional races fees $15 each. Late fee of $10 applies to entries received after March 28, 2012. Register online (recommended) or download and mail registration forms (with checks payable to SYVCC) to Avenue of Flags Criterium, Box 1821, Santa Ynez, CA 93460-1821.

Technical Support: SRAM Neutral Race Support will be on-site

Regulations: All USA Cycling rules apply. Details at

For more information and more details as race day draws closer (including course maps, elevation charts etc), please be sure to visit the race website


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