The race venue for the Cardinal Criterium on March 12 will change to Long Run Park in the east end.
“It’s unfortunate that we had to make the change so late,” said event coordinator Abner Miralda. “Sometimes things come up that are completely out of your control.”
The March 12 opening ceremonies of the Speed Art Museum were a major factor in the decision. The museum is located three blocks away from the major intersection of 3rd Street and Eastern Parkway, a crucial part of the Cardinal Criterium course.
The race course would have shut down two of the three main access roads to the museum. Despite being fully authorized by Louisville Metro Police and the University of Louisville Police Department, the late decision came down to the use of parking lots located inside the course. The Speed Museum contracted with UofL Parking to use the lots for its patrons, putting in danger the safety of the participants of the Cardinal Criterium.
The 30-hour long ribbon-cutting ceremonies of the museum are planned to attract over 25,000 people and will include visits from Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the Governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin. The museum renovation took four years and cost over $50 million dollars.
“The safety of our athletes and goodwill of our sport is paramount,” said Miralda. He cited that a road shutdown of that magnitude near a major event like the J.B. Speed Art Museum’s “30 Hours of Speed” would become a divisive issue among the entire community, pitting cyclists against non-cyclists. “We’re trying to grow the sport of cycling, and holding the Speed Museum hostage would be detrimental to our image.” He then added, “We did everything we could to coexist but in the end it didn’t work out.”
Long Run Park has been secured to serve as the venue of the Cardinal Criterium for 2016.
The 1.7 mile course will run counter-clockwise. The event schedule will not change. Parking will be adjacent to the course on Long Run Park Road.
“We hope to see the Cardinal Criterium on the Belknap Campus in 2017 regardless of the outcome this year,” said Miralda. “We will never give up on our mission to grow the sport of cycling and hosting prominent events is an excellent way to do that.”
To see the updated event flyer and register for the event, please visit UofLcycling.com/CardCrit
Any comments or concerns should be directed to UofLcycling@gmail.com