La Crosse Omnium finishes up with criterium race through downtown

Downtown La Crosse was transformed into a bicycle race course Sunday.

It was the last race in the La Crosse Omnium, a three part racing series that included a timed race up Granddad’s Bluff on Friday and a road race Saturday through the hills of southeastern Minnesota.

Sunday’s race was a criterium through downtown La Crosse.

At high speeds, 450 racers in different age brackets biked several laps around a set course.

Organizers say the urban setting adds an element of excitement for the bicyclists.

“They like a downtown venue. It gives them sort of excitement. A lot of people come down,” said Taggert Brooks, race director for the criterium. “There’s businesses open, the river’s back here. There’s a lot of activity and spectators so it’s exciting to be downtown.”

The La Crosse Omnium is connected to the Festival Foods Grandad Half Marathon, which also took place this weekend.