May 18-21, 2023
The Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race is returning to Fayetteville, Arkansas to host the largest professional field and the largest women’s field in the 46-year history of the race! The iconic annual event, one of the top cycling stage races in the entire nation, is scheduled for May 18-21, 2023.
Beginning Thursday, May 18th, professional and elite amateur men and women road cycling teams from around the globe will roll into Fayetteville for 4 days and 4 stages of competition in spirited road races, uphill time trials, and fan-favorite criteriums. Winding roads of quality pavement, diverse topography, and Ozark Mountain scenery define each stage of the Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race.
The competition culminates on Sunday, May 21st for the fourth and final stage of the race – the Experience Fayetteville Criterium. Like Formula 1 but for cycling fans, a criterium (or “crit”) is a road cycling race consisting of several thrilling laps around a short, spectator-friendly course. The frenzied speed and excitement of the race will leave you captivated as you watch cyclists zip by on the historic streets of downtown Fayetteville! Waves of cyclists will bravely plunge into turns at more than 40mph before buzzing by just in front of the crowd - leaving only a rush of wind in their wake!
From the start line at Church Avenue and Meadow Street, participants will race counterclockwise through Fayetteville’s Historic Downtown Square before heading north down East Avenue. A hairpin turn onto West Dickson Street then sends riders flying through Fayetteville’s Entertainment District. At heart-stopping speeds, racers dive into a 90 degree turn to head south on West Avenue. From there, it’s a climb up Spring Street and onto Church Avenue to the finish line - or to do another lap
While the course itself is fascinating, the best part about the Experience Fayetteville Criterium is undoubtedly the atmosphere. Spectators new to the sport will find a family-friendly environment where decorated race fans (known affectionately in the cycling community as “the crazies”) line the streets, friends gather for front porch watch parties, and there’s no shortage of flavorful food trucks and local restaurants ready to welcome you to our downtown! See below for a map of the area surrounding the Experience Fayetteville Criterium, including where you can legally drink on the street, prime viewing locations for the race, and a few suggested downtown bars & restaurants that will be open on Sunday!
New for this year, a can’t-miss, family-friendly “All Wheels Welcome” activation will take place from 12-4pm at the finish line of the criterium. Presented by the Downtown Fayetteville Coalition, “All Wheels Welcome” will feature a variety of free activities for all ages and abilities including a pop-up skate park, pickleball with the Ozark Adaptive Sports Association, RC car racing, the Community Creative Center’s Wheel Mobile, and the most comical spectacle on three wheels - adult tricycle races!
Originally known as the Fayetteville Spring Classic, the Joe Martin Stage Race was renamed in memory of long-time race director Joe Martin after his passing in 1989. Today, the Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race is one of the longest-running annual events in Northwest Arkansas and is consistently ranked as one of the top stage races on both the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) America Tour calendars.
For more information on the Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race and the Experience Fayetteville Criterium, visit www.joemartinstagerace.com.