Fourth of July Criterium

The Fourth of July Criterium can legitimately be called a “classic” race — a Northern California institution since 1977. The event features all day racing in downtown Davis for most categories, including a kid’s fun race. This race includes a generous prize list and is known for its technical eight-corner course. The races has attracted notable professional racers and top amateurs, including Greg Lemond, Mike Sayers, Bobby Julich, Antonio Cruz, Eric Wohlberg, Trent Klasna, Andy Jacques-Maynes, Dave McCook, and Nathan Dahlberg.

Registration is now open for the 2016 4th of July CriteriumRace flyer(PDF).
Contact the Race Director. Check results for past races.


In the early years, the Fourth of July criterium was held on a 1 km, four corner course in downtown Davis. Racing was extremely fast, up to 30 mph the entire race. The original course featured a nasty corner with a dip near where Cafe Bernardo is now. This corner was a favorite for spectators because of all the crashes. Some called the race the “Davis Carnage.”

In the inaugural 1977 race, a junior named Greg Lemond raced in the category 1/2 race and easily won. Young Greg had just won the Nevada City race a few weeks before. His father was also in the Davis Criterium that same day. The race in 1977 had entry fees of $3.50 for the 1/2/pros, $2.50 for the category 3s and Jrs and $1.50 for women. The prize lists were $1,200 for the 1/2/pros, $600 for the category 3s, $900 for the Juniors and $300 for the women.

The course was changed to it’s current “L” shape in the mid-1980s, partly to make it more technical and offer more excitement in terms of race strategy, but also to make it safer. The 2013 course was expanded another block west to C Street and run clockwise. In the late 80s and early 90s, the race often had very large prize lists. Cellular One sponsored the race for a couple of years and paid out $1,000 for first place in the Pro/1/2 category. The biggest prize list was for the men’s Pro/1/2 race in 2006 when Bistro 33 put up $2,500 for 1st place.