Boise twilight preview 1130x600

The ACC returns with the third stop at the Bailey Glasser Boise Twilight Criterium this Saturday

By: Logan Jones-Wilkins  June 28, 2024

Preview of the Bailey & Glasser Boise Twilight Criterium on Saturday

After two forays in the midsouth and midwest of the United States, the American Criterium Cup moves westwards for back-to-back weekends in the mountain west starting at the Bailey Glasser Boise Twilight Criterium on Saturday, June 29th in downtown Boise, Idaho.

This year will be the 37th running of the Boise Twilight Criterium as the event has brought fast racing to the shadow of the Idaho state capitol building for generations of American cyclists. While the American racing scene has changed its complexion a few times over the nearly four decades of racing in Boise, Idaho’s crown jewel of a bike race has persisted, presenting the opportunity for racers from across the country to show out their stuff on what is historically the fastest criterium in the nation.

At its origins, the Boise Twilight Criterium is a consummate Idaho event. Originally, the event was formulated as a road race in the mold of the Colorado-based Coors Classic which ran from Boise to the ski resort town of Sun Valley. An executive for an Idaho-based potato product company was the catalyst for the project and eventually, a women’s road race materialized in 1984.

The race, which was originally called the Ore-Ida Women’s Challenge, began as a road race before morphing into a women’s only stage race with big prize money, long stages, and many stages crisscrossing the state. In fact, the race was so robust that the UCI refused to sanction the event during its 19-year tenure as nothing on the women’s calendar was like what the Ore-Ida Women’s Challenge was during its heyday.

While the Ore-Ida Women’s Challenge shut its doors in 2002, that initial race was a catalyst for cycling in the “Gem State.” A national championship came to Boise soon after in 1986 which only increased the enthusiasm for cycling in the city. Boise Twilight Criterium was launched the next year and has been building on that enthusiasm ever since with year 37 on tap for the weekend.

With that history backing the race, a winners list filled with some of America’s biggest professional racers, and a community that always shows up for the spectacle, expect the Boise Twilight to be as fast and thrilling as ever.

Facts and figures

Where does the Boise Twilight Criterium take place? The Bailey & Glasser Twilight Criterium takes place in downtown Boise, Idaho.

What is the date and time of the event? Both of the events take place on Saturday, June 29th with the 70-minute women’s pro race starting at 6:30 PM mountain time while the men’s 70-minute race begins at 8:05 PM mountain time.

What are the course attributes? Boise Twilight is a 0.54-mile four-corner course with wide four-lane roads along each straight.

How many editions of the Bailey & Glasser Twilight Criterium have there been? The race began in 1987 and has run every year since, with the only exception coming during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 2024 will be the 37th edition of the race.

Who won the event in 2023? Skylar Schnieder and Ty Magner won the women’s and men’s professional races last year.

The course

Boise Twilight is the epitome of an American criterium: four corners, four-lane roads, a late night, and big crowds. Those ingredients are all that is needed to create the fastest race in the country.

The 0.54-mile course that runs its way around the front of the Idaho Capitol will see speeds close to 30mph for the women and over 30mph for the men with the fastest recorded laps well under the one-minute mark.

Beyond the speed, the short laps, and the four wide corners, there is no real secret to the race. Attrition is low, breakaways are tough to form, and strong team lead-outs lead to the most successful outcomes since there is enough room after the final turn for a rider to come off of the wheels and take the win.

The Contenders

After Tulsa Tough and the Tour of America’s Dairylands, the American Crit Cup standing has begun to take shape around a few contenders who look set to contest the series all the way through. Those riders should be some of the names we see come to the fore in Boise as well as a few other names that should be in the mix as well.

On the men’s side, the first name on everyone’s lips is Luke Lamperti (Soudal Quick-Step). Lamperti was the winner at Blue Dome in Tulsa on night one of the American Criterium Cup and while the WorldTour sprinter will not be contesting the overall win in the series, as he will be returning to Europe to race the world best in the back half of the season, Lamperti is not a stranger to the fast Boise sprint.

Standing in his way will be the REIGN Storm Racing train led by Bryan Gomez, the winner of the last stop of the ACC at Downer Avenue. Gomez and his team were flawless over three races at the Tour of America’s Dairyland last week. Gomez will have Danny Summerhill, last year’s ACC winner, heading up the lead-out train as he looks to gain more points in the ACC sprint jersey, as well as Jordan Parra and Alfredo Rodriguez as sprinters.

Beyond Lamperti and the REIGN Storm Racing crew, Noah Granigan and Tyler Williams of the Miami Blazers have had a strong season with Granigan sitting second in the ACC standings after a podium in Tulsa and a top ten in Wisconsin. Additionally, Michael Garrison (MGR p/b NICH SPEEDCLUB) and Ty Magner (L39ion of Los Angeles) will be individuals to look out for, especially as Magner is the defending champion.

On the women’s side, it is all about the Miami Blazers and Skylar Schnieder who already leads the ACC by four points and the second-place rider will not be in Boise to trim the lead. With two teammates to help cover moves and set her up for the sprint, Schnieder is far and away the favorite for the day to repeat her victory from last year. If it is not Schnieder, both LA Sweat and DNA Pro Cycling are the other teams with riders who can make the difference with three rider teams each.

One major dark horse is the local professional Samantha Scott (Lotto Dstny Ladies). Scott is a 19-year-old racer, who is in her first season on the European circuit, is a Boise native who will be looking to make an impression on her home crowd and add her name to the long list of famous Boise cyclists.

Full ACC Series Standings

Photo credit: Courtesy of the American Criterium Cup