A criterium is bike race held on a short course, usually a few blocks of closed city streets. The Cigar City Criterium (Tampa Bay Crit) runs all day, starting with amateur races in the morning and culminating in the amateur and pro final races starting at 5:30.
This is an opportunity for great action shots. The pack rides tightly together; a long focal length can compress the appearance of the pack for impressive shots. Corners are sharp and the cyclists bank heavily, creating opportunities for great actions shots, whether frozen with fast shutter speeds or blurred with panning. And the clothing is colorful; close-ups are eye-catching.
Download the course map, which shows all the parking, fencing, cross-over points and expo locations at http://tampacrit.com/course-map/. The best location for action shots will be the corner of Tampa Street and Polk. There is a minimum of fencing there, so changing your point-of-view will be relatively easy.
I'm planning on arriving for 4:30 to get oriented, browse the expo and be present for the hand-cycling competition. We'll stay through the championship races, which end at 8:00.
We will meet at the southwest corner of North Tampa and East Polk at 5:30. For those new to the sport, I can give some explanations and suggest shooting strategies. Since the races are multi-lap, there will be plenty of opportunity to experiment.
My number is (727)[masked], in case you need it.
(The morning amateur races will be held in Curtis Hixon Park, which at 11:00 also becomes the venue for the Mayor's River of Green Fest.)