The 41st annual Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium, originally scheduled for Apr. 24â€“25 next month, has been officially postponed until Sept. 18â€“19 this fall. The annual race brings in cyclists representing teams from all over the world, while the festival itself attracts thousands of locals and tourists through its live music, food court, expo and other various activities. The cancellation is in accordance with safety precautions against the spread of coronavirus. See the official press release below.
ATHENS ORTHOPEDIC CLINIC TWILIGHT CRITERIUM TO POSTPONE UNTIL SEPTEMBER
Event Planning Committee postpones the Twilight until September 18-19
Athens, GA – The Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium presented by Terrapin, an annual springtime tradition, will now be a fall tradition, if only for a year. Local organizers have decided to postpone the 41st edition of the AOC Twilight to September 18-19, 2020.
Coupled with the CDC ‘s eight week recommendation for gatherings, USA Cyclingâ€™s (cyclingâ€™s national governing body) suspension of event permits through May 3, and the aggressive measures Athens Clarke-County have taken in the last 36 hours to curb the spread of COVID-19, the AOC Twilight ran out of time. â€œWe felt we had no path forward to continue with an April date,â€ says Event Director, Ashley Travieso. â€œWe had hoped to continue with a spring date, knowing how important this event is to both the local community and to the national and international cycling community. We were optimistically hoping circumstances might change prior to our target announcement date of April 6, but it is evident this will not happen.â€
The AOC Twilight weekend provides a lifestyle-defining event for Athens, offering something for everyone – the largest 5k run in Athens, competitive and non-competitive cycling events, kids events, a free music stage, and, of course, beer gardens – and at the same time provides an economic boost for restaurants, bars, and hotels. â€œCycling, running, and walking are all great individual activities, and we hope everyone stays active, healthy, and safe,” adds Travieso. â€œOur hope is to create this amazing atmosphere the race is known for in the Fall of 2020 and return to the Spring in 2021.â€
There are national implications with the current situation, as well. â€œEvents were the first to go, including professional cycling races. The early season of racing has been decimated, yet we are working closely with USA CRITS to revive a late season series of criteriums,â€ says Travieso.
The AOC Twilight urges everyone to follow CDCâ€™s recommendations to limit gatherings to 10 or less, to wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and to take measures for social distancing whenever possible.
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