Plan for excitement this Father’s Day weekend, with the 46th annual Preston Street Criterium. 

Like no other bike race in town, the criterium offers something for everyone. Fast-paced action, block party vibes and family-friendly activities – including kids-only races!

Don’t miss Ottawa’s longest running bike race   

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A criterium is a bicycle race that takes place on a closed circuit. Racers must contend with high-speed and tight turns, which makes for an exciting spectator sport. For cycling enthusiasts, the Preston Street Criterium is a great place to see national-calibre athletes perform before they break out onto the international stage. Plus, the winners of the Elite men’s and women’s races walk away with their weight in beer – be sure to catch the podium presentations in the afternoon.

On the day of the event, Preston Street will be shut down between Carling Avenue and George Street West. Attendees can see the best that Little Italy has to offer, all while taking in the race. Stop in a for a beer on a patio (or two), grab a bite at a local eatery or take part in some of the activities going on along the street throughout the day.

Race schedule

10:00 am Novice Men’s Race
11:00 am Intermediate Men’s Race
12:00 noon Elite Women’s Race
1:00 pm Kids' Race 5 years and under, 50 metre sprint
1:15 pm Kids' Race 6- and 7-year-olds, 50 metre sprint
1:30 pm Kids' Race 8- and 9-year-olds, 2k race


Does your kid love to ride? Sign them up for the kids' races – one of the most popular parts of this annual event. 

With categories up to the age of 14, your child can take part whether they’re still rocking training wheels or they’re a seasoned pro.

Age categories include:
5 yrs. and under
6 - 7 yrs.
8 - 9 yrs. (Squirt)
10 - 12 yrs. (Peewee)
13 - 14 yrs. (Minime)


Are you a UCI-licensed racer looking for your next event?

Presented by Bike Race Ottawa, the Preston Street Criterium is the ultimate event for cyclists looking to test their mettle. As the opening race in the Ontario Criterium Series, no other Ottawa cycling event draws crowds like this one.

There are cash and merchandise prizes for the winners in the men’s and women’s categories. PLUS the overall winners in the Elite Men’s and Women’s races will win their weight in beer, which has been graciously provided by Kichesippi Beer Company.

Download  the 2018 technical guide.

Pre-registration is mandatory for the men’s and women’s races, and closes at midnight on June 15, 2018.  Register here.  


Looking to lend a hand?

With an expected turnout of over 2,000 people, there’s always room for more help. Interested? Fill out the form below, and a rep from Bike Race Ottawa will follow up shortly with more info.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a criterium?
A criterium is a closed circuit bicycle race. It poses a unique challenge to riders, who must contend with a large pack of racers, high speeds and tight corners.

Criteriums make for great spectator sport, as racers make their way around the track every minute or two. Unlike road races, where you may only get to see the pack once or twice, criteriums allow viewers to see the bulk of the action.

How much does it cost to attend?
The Preston Street Criterium is free to attend.

Is there a rain date?
No. The Preston Street Criterium will go ahead rain or shine.

How do I get there?
The Preston Street Criterium takes places in the heart of Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood. Click here to get directions on Google Maps.

From the West, take Highway 417 to the Rochester Street exit. At the traffic lights at Rochester, continue straight onto Orangeville. At Booth St. turn right and park in the area of Booth/Norman. The Government of Canada parking lots will be available.

From the East, take Highway 417 to the Bronson St. exit. Continue straight on Catherine St. which turns into Raymond St. At Booth St., turn left and park in the area of Booth/Norman. The
Government of Canada parking lots will be available.

Where should I park?
The Government of Canada lots will be available for public use for the event. Enter the lots near the intersection of Booth Street and Norman Street.

What should I bring?
It’s recommended that attendees check the weather for the day and dress accordingly, including comfortable footwear.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase along Preston Street, though attendees are welcome to bring their own snacks and water. There are ATMs located in a number of local restaurants, as well as both a Scotiabank and CIBC along the race route.

Can I take part in the race?
The men’s and women’s races are open to anyone who holds a valid UCI licence. The provincial governing bodies for cycling issue the Union Cycliste Internationale licences. For Ontario, more info is here . For Québec, more info is here. 

Can my child take part in the race?
Yes! There are kids' races open to anyone aged 14 and under.

Racers aged 15+ are welcome to join the men’s and women’s races, so long as they hold a valid UCI licence.

How much does it cost to race?
Individual racers, Junior & Cadet (U17): $40
Individual racers, all other categories: $60
Women’s teams of 3 or more: $40 per racer
Men’s teams of 5 or more: $40 per racer

For the kids' races, there is a $10 registration fee – all proceeds from the kids' races will be donated to CHEO.

Still have a question?

Contact Bike Race Ottawa at

1:40 pm Kids' Race 10- to 12-year-olds, 4k race
1:55 pm Kids' Race 13- and 14-year-olds, 6k race
2:10 pm Podium Presentation: Women
2:15 pm Elite Men’s Race
4:00 pm Podium Presentation: Elite Men

And the party doesn’t stop when the races end! Preston Street will remain closed following
the race, so be sure to stick around and enjoy the sights and sounds of Ottawa’s Little Italy.

See above   for full race schedule.

Racers aged 7 and under will take part in a 50 m sprint along Preston Street, while older kids have the chance to race around the criterium track. For a full breakdown of race specs and registration info, download the event’s 2018 technical guide.

The cost to register a child is $10, with 100% of proceeds raised from the kids' races going to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Register your child here. 

Day-of registration will also be available for the kids' races.

Come for the racing, stay for the party.