TUPELO There will be action-packed bicycle racing at Fairpark this weekend.

The Renasant Criterium is set for today and Sunday, with cyclists from all over the South competing in several races. The second day has high stakes, with the Louisiana Mississippi Bicycle Racing Association (LAMBRA) championship races on tap.

Races will start and finish in front of City Hall, with the course looping around the Fairpark area so as to stay off Main Street. The course will be between six-10ths and eight-10ths of a mile, depending on the category.

‘NASCAR for bicycles’

“The best description that I would give you is it’s like NASCAR for bicycles,” race director Matt Mackey said. “We’re going to have racers coming by the start/finish every minute or less, depending on the category. You really get to see them going high speeds through corners.”

Racing begins today at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.

The premier events are Women Pro 1/2/3 and Men Pro 1/2/3 races. There will also be Masters and Juniors races, as well as kids races.

There will be food and a DJ in Fairpark during the event. Mackey said it will be a family-friendly atmosphere.

He’s also hoping it will turn people on to cycling.

“That’s one of the reasons why we’re putting this on is to get people interested in cycling in general,” he said. “A lot of people who aren’t cyclists, and sometimes even cyclists, haven’t seen a crit race before.”

The Renasant Criterium is in its second year. It benefits the Autism Center of North Mississippi.

brad.locke@journalinc.com Twitter: @bradlocke

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