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Professional cyclists from across the world race in downtown Roanoke

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Hundreds of cyclists from all over the world participated in the first Downtown Twilight Criterium.

A criterium is a high energy, fast-paced cycling event.

The group raced along a short course throughout the Star City Saturday night.

The three-qaurter-mile loop was designed so spectators could feel part of the action.

Organizers said Saturday night's event aimed to attract more bicycle enthusiasts to the area.

"A lot of cities our size have a race like this so we wanted to get it," said Stratton Delaney, the race's director, "We're here to just really showcase what Roanoke has to active cyclists and just people in general."

Delaney said he hopes to see the race grow every year and eventually turn it into a multi-day event.