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Region Riot Criterium bike race to pedal through Hammond Saturday

The Region Riot Criterium bike race has become an annual event in Hammond.

The Region Riot Criterium European-style closed-circuit bike race pedals back through Hammond Saturday.

The city of Hammond and Region Racing, with the sponsorship of Strack & Van Til, are bringing back the annual criterium cycling race, sometimes known as a crit, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Wolf Lake Memorial Park, 2324 Calumet Ave. Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., himself an avid cycler, helped bring the first USA Cycling-sanctioned race to the city in 2017 and it's become an annual event every spring.

The public is invited to watch the fast-paced bicycle race, in which cyclists in tightly bound groups race multiple laps of 1.3 miles each in a closed circuit near Wolf Lake that circles around Calumet Avenue, 129th Street and Sheffield Parkway. It can get pretty rough-and-tumble.

"Spectators are welcome to watch the cyclists compete at designated spots along the course," the city of Hammond said in a news release. "Since these races are known to be extremely competitive, sometimes there is bumping and crashes in the pack."

Cyclists can win prizes, called primes, for winning particular intermediate laps whenever the announcer declares the next lap to be a prime. Men and women in different age groups will compete throughout the day at this year's criterium.

For cyclists, it's $20 for the first race and $10 for an additional race, plus $10 for a one-day USA Cycling License. Juniors race free but need the signature of a parent or guardian.

For spectators, the event is free.

For more information, visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/RegionRacing or @RegionRacing on Twitter.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.