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 Cycling’s (cycling’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. “We felt we had no path forward to continue with an April date,” says Event Director, Ashley Travieso. “We 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.”
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. “Cycling, running, and walking are all great individual activities, and we hope everyone stays active, healthy, and safe," adds Travieso. “Our hope is to create this amazing atmosphere the race is known for in the Fall of 2020 and return to the Spring in 2021.”
There are national implications with the current situation, as well. “Events 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,” says Travieso.
The AOC Twilight urges everyone to follow CDC’s recommendations to limit gatherings to 10 or less, to wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and to take measures for social distancing whenever possible.
Event Director, Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium