Criterion (cycling)

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Tufts University Criterium Race 2006 in Sommerville, USA

In road cycling, a criterion (from the French critérium = value meter, test stone) is a competition on a relatively short, often inner-city circuit that measures between 800 and 10,000 meters. Criteria are to be distinguished from road races , which are held as long-distance journeys with or without target laps or on circuits of at least 10 kilometers in length.


The maximum distance of the race depends on the length of the circuit:

Lap length Max. distance
1.800 - 01,599 m 80 km
1,600 - 02,999 m 110 km
3,000 - 03,999 m 132 km
4,000 - 10,000 m 150 km

Scoring mode

According to the narrower, original definition of the term (as it is used, for example, in announcements of races), one criterion is a race in which the placements are determined by awarding points at the finish line in regular evaluations. The winner is determined by the results of individual point evaluations, whereby the evaluation (usually at regular intervals of usually five rounds) takes place at the finish line. The first driver receives 5 points, the others 3, 2 and 1 point. In the last evaluation, which coincides with the final sprint, double the number of points is awarded. However, lap wins take precedence over points, so theoretically a driver who has not scored any points can win the race. The peculiarity of a criterion is that the winner is not only determined by the target sprint, which may have been preceded by an uneventful course of the race, but the course of the race is continuously animated by the recurring sprints.

If such races are held on the final sprint without scoring, they are called circuit races in German-speaking countries . In international usage and the rules of the UCI, these races are counted among the criteria.


Criteria will not be included in the international racing calendar of the UCI WorldTour or the UCI Continental Circuits . If these criteria of the national calendar are reported by the national associations to the UCI World Cycling Federation by September 1st of the previous year , riders from a cycling team registered with the UCI may also take part, whereby the participation of riders from a UCI WorldTeam is limited to 50 percent of the starters. Such races have been conducted in a separately published criteria calendar since the 2012 season.

In contrast to other road bike races, the organizer does not use cycling teams for criteria , but individual cyclists .

Especially after the Tour de France , these races serve to show the cycling stars up close to the audience. In this case and in the numerous races that also take place during the week in the Netherlands and Belgium , one also speaks of fair races , as they are often held as part of local fairgrounds or city festivals. The focus is on the show, and often the results and course should be discussed in advance so that local riders or the stars of the international cycling scene are honored in this way. Some national cycling associations also organize national criterion championships, e.g. B. the US and New Zealand associations. Also were East Road Radmeisterschaften in the discipline criterion be held.

Web links

Wiktionary: criterion  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  • Ralf Schröder: Lexicon cycling. The drivers, the races, the brands, the teams . Verlag die Werkstatt, Göttingen 2005, p. 208, ISBN 3-89533-473-1 .

References and comments

  1. "Critérium" is often part of the name of French cycling races, but these are not always races that correspond to the definition of the term according to the UCI rules and this article, such as B. Critérium du Dauphiné or Critérium International .
  2. cf. UCI road cycling calendar
  3. Fixed for the fans - the post-TdF criteriums, accessed on October 21, 2012
  4. cf. about the US American Criterion Championship accessed on August 10, 2011
  5. cf. about the New Zealand Criteria Championship accessed on August 10, 2011