As the sport of cycling continues to find a niche place in the country, the Lagos City Criterium 2017 grand final will host 170 riders on Saturday, November 11 in Ikoyi, Lagos.
A criterium or crit is a bicycle race consisting of several laps around a closed circuit.
The race will see 13 teams compete in five categories – professional male and female, veterans, and junior male and female – at the Dolphin Estate road that will be closed off to traffic.
Faiz Imam, chair of the Sustainable Cycling Federation (SCF) said that up to 1.5m Naira will be handed out in prize money.
“Our idea has always been to help young riders achieve their potential and we believe the Lagos Crit is one of the best platforms to showcase them,” said Imam. “We hope from the young ones who are competing tomorrow, we can discover the future of Nigeria in this sport.”
Lending the support of the state government to the event, Deji Tinubu, Special Adviser to the Governor on Sports, said that projects like the Criterium show Lagos as a growing city.
“We need to grow a culture of cycling in Lagos,” Tinubu told the crowd at the Syrian Club ahead of the unveiling of teams for the race.
Tinubu was praised by the organisers for ensuring that the road for the race circuit will be closed for the duration of the event on Saturday.
— Lolade Adewuyi (@Jololade) November 10, 2017
Amaechi Okobi, corporate affairs manager of Access Bank, expressed the company’s interest in changing the narrative about Nigeria and adequately tell the positive stories coming out of the country.
“We’re not all bad, we’re Nollywood, we’re arts, we’re cycling,” said Okobi.”It’s our responsibility, every Nigerian, to change the narrative.”
Race director Garick Bassey noted that the race will be conducted around a 2.7km loop.
Some of the teams participating in the crit are CC12, Cyclotron, Cycology, Sharks RC, Team Aspire, United Pro Cycling Team, Team Velocity and Goal Cycling Club.
The Criterium is sponsored by 9Mobile, Access Bank, Cocoon Homes, XBikes, Etana Water, Craneburg Construction and Cycology.