WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Hottern Hell Hundred’s 40th anniversary is next Saturday! But besides the 100-mile-ride, officials are preparing for the return of another event.
Ride officials are hopeful bringing the criterium races back downtown will have a significant positive impact on local businesses.
It’s that time of year! Thousands of cyclists are gearing up for the hotter hell hundred, the largest single-day 100-mile bicycle ride in the country, possibly the world. But the big ride won’t be the only competition next weekend.
“So every year since I’ve been here in 2012, we’ve been doing the Sunday criterium on a course over by the MPEC parking lot,” MSU Cycling Team Coach, Charlie Zamastil said.
But this year they are doing things a little different. Instead of the MPEC, the criterium races will be held right in the heart of downtown. Something that Hotter’N Hell Steering Committee Member Warren Young is all too familiar with, seeing that he rode in the first criterium races when they were originally held downtown.
“It is really neat to see it coming back to where it started and I would really be excited to see the crowd participation come back to where it was when it started because this whole downtown would be full, hundreds of people down here,” Young said.
Not only will the races provide a great opportunity for cyclists to check out the downtown area, Executive Director for Downtown Wichita Falls Development, Jana Schmader said it could be beneficial for local businesses in the area.
“Our job is to drive traffic down here, so we have an opportunity that lots of people go to Hottern Hell and we have that to capture them and its just good for the economic base of downtown, people go in and patronizes these businesses and that helps the entire district grow,” Schmader said.
While also providing onlookers the chance to catch some of the top cyclists in the nation in action, right where it all began.
The criterium races will start at 7 a.m. on Sunday, August 29, and will wrap up at 2 p.m. There are several different categories to register for even races for kiddos.
If you would like to register for the criterium races, click here.