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Navy Week Criterium Set for April 15

Navy Week Criterium Set for April 15

The Navy Week Criterium race will be on April 15, with the first race starting at 10 a.m. and the final race beginning at 1 p.m. There are five races (Cat 3/4, women, juniors, Cat 4/5 and Cat 1/2/3) on an eight-corner, closed course located downtown near Waterfront Park.

This is the first-ever Navy-sponsored bicycle race held in Louisville and will kick off a week-long Navy Week event. The primary sponsors are the Louisville Navy League, Papa John''s Pizza and Swope Auto Group. This will be the second annual Navy Week here in Louisville. The main guest of honor will be Rear Admiral Mike Vitale, Commander Carrier Strike Group TWO.

Admiral Vitale is a graduate of the University of Louisville and is looking forward to getting back to his home turf. During Navy Week, Admiral Vitale will be speaking at a number of locations, visiting Kosair Children''s Hospital, the VA hospital and many other engagements. There will also be SEAL motivators in town, the Leap Frogs (Navy jump team), an F-18 flight simulator, a dive tank and the Navy Band will be performing a number of locations, including Fourth Street Live.

Admiral Vitale is scheduled to be at the race for the kick off and start of the first race. He will also be there for the finish of the last race. To kick things off we will have a Navy Color Guard march out the flag and we will play the National Anthem. Admiral Vitale will say a few words and ring a Navy bell to start the first race. The total cash purse is $1500 – not including primes that will be given out during the race.

The primes will make the race a lot of fun. I''m currently searching for cash and prizes to give away as sprint primes. The way this works is a bell is rung (Navy bell) and an announcement is made that there is a $10 prime, for example, from a sponsor for the winner of the next lap. The riders will go around the course and sprint for the prize or prime. I''m trying to collect enough cash and prizes so we can ring the bell every five laps. If we can do this it will make for an exhausting and exciting race.

For more information about the Navy Criterium, visit www.kyanaseries.com. For more information about Admiral Vitale, visit www.navy.mil.navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=289.

CDR Ward Zauner is the Commanding Officer at NOSC Louisville and a cyclist.

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