Cyclocross news & racing round-up for October 23, 2005
Edited by Steve Medcroft
Welcome to our regular round-up of what's happening in cyclocross.
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Huge signups means split 'B' field at U.S. 'Cross Nats
More than seven weeks before the event promoters of the Liberty Mutual
U.S. National Cyclo-cross Championships report registration at a record
pace. "We have a happy problem," said Tom Stevens, race director. "We
are approaching 1,000 pre-registered riders and we're still more than
a month out."
The highest registration, ironically, is for a non-championship event
known as the 'B' race. "Apparently everybody wants to ride the roller
coaster we're building," said Richard Fries, communications director.
"The total number of racers in all categories will easily exceed the 1,200
mark we expected."
The promoters have altered Sunday's schedule to allow them to split
the B field into an older and younger category, with the break point at
age 35. The split proved nearly even. "We've created a 35-plus group and
an under-34 group," noted Stevens. "We're calling it B-plus and B-minus,"
said Lyle Fulkerson, operations director. "This is a testament to a number
of things. The East Coast cyclo-cross scene has grown considerably since
the nationals were last held in this time zone in 2001. This is also a
testament to the sport's continued growth elsewhere. We're standing atop
the shoulders of promoters in Portland, Seattle, Northern California,
The Rockies and other growing cyclo-cross hotspots."
The 2005 Liberty Mutual U.S. National Cyclo-cross Championships is a
production of the New England Cyclo-cross Association. For more information
Granogue and Wissahickon next stop in Verge series
The $30,000 Verge Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series heads into the first
of two International Double-Header Weekends this week with two UCI categorized
races. Saturday, October 22, will see the Wooden Wheels Cyclocross at
Granogue, the Queen of the Verge Sportswear sponsored Mid Atlantic Cyclocross
Series. On the following day, October 23, the series moves a half-hour
north to the Wissahickon Cyclocross, a popular race at a new venue.
Saturday's Wooden Wheels race, named for the sponsoring bike shop, takes
place at "Granogue" the luscious estate of A.I. DuPont near Wilmington,
Delaware. Every year, course designer Tom McDaniel offers up a great course
featuring monster hills, roads, gravel and high-speed off-camber corners.
This year he promises another spectacular layout that is once again worthy
of the event's UCI C1 status. It's not every day that bike racers get
to play in a "back yard" or race through flower and herb gardens. Nor
is it normal for any sport, apart from golf, to be played in surroundings
as beautiful as this, especially when the leaves are changing colours.
It's a great contrast to the suffering of the athletes. According to Elite
35+ racer Tammy Ebersole of Evolution Cycling, "Granogue - it's just brutal.
Nowhere to rest..a wicked fast start..and then the uphill, around the
tower - off-camber to the scary off camber hill side descent its notorious.
Most riders hold their breath and pray." But, while the racers themselves
are suffering fatigue-induced tunnel vision, those watching the race will
be able to relax, take in the scenery and watch fabulous racing - all
while enjoying free samples of Krispy Kreme donuts and Fordham Brewery
Sunday's Wissahickon Cross, also named after the sponsoring bike shop,
is a UCI C2 race that takes place at a new venue this year. The Ludwig's
Corner Horse Show and Country Fair in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania hosts one
of the best-organized races in the nation. Race director Kelly Cline couldn't
be more pleased with the location, "It's on a hill that lets the course
be very compact. The layout looks to be fast, with a lot of long straights
and sharp corners, just the way everybody likes it." No doubt, many will
also like the Yard's Beer Tent at the top of the run-up, where those attending
the race can "sample" Yard's Beer, a cult favourite among East Coast ‘crossers.
Already committed to the event are red-hot Ryan Trebon and his Kona teammate
Barry Wicks, as well as a four-rider contingent from Colorado's TIAA-Cref/Clif
Bar: Ben Turner, Stuart Gillespie, Troy Wells and Zak Grabowski. They
will be joined by the popular FORT/GPOA! Team featuring defending Verge
Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series Champion Ryan Leech and east-coast legend
Gunnar Shogren. On the women's side, Betsy Shauer of FORT/GPOA is expecting
to defend her title against last week's winner, and Kona standout, Georgia
Gould. Also expected is a full squad from Velo Bella, who have stated,
"Velo Bella will take no prisoners -- unless he's really cute." Also expected
to make their 2005 Verge MAC debuts are 2003 USPRO Road Racing Champion
Mark McCormack and his Team Clif Shot Teammate Jesse Anthony, new daddy
Ben Jacques-Maynes and Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau's super couple
of cyclocross Tim Johnson and Lyne Bessette.
The UCI Elite races will be preceded each day by a full slate of Verge
Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series amateur classes. All racers should pre-enter
these high-profile events through www.BikeReg.com,
the official on-line registration service of the Mid Atlantic Cyclocross
Both races are open to the public without admission charge
Thread City Cyclo-cross
The fourth annual Thread City Cyclo-cross will take place Saturday October
22 at Mansfield Hollow State Park in Mansfield, CT. Although the Mansfield
Hollow venue has hosted cyclo-cross races dating back to the early 1980's,
the historic course will have a new look this year thanks in part to local
flooding that has placed the old course 40 feet underwater.
The new course will feature many of the same torturous run-ups, some
technical off-camber sections as well as plenty of interesting turns.
The new course promises to be faster and even more spectator friendly
than the old course.
The competition looks to be fierce for the 2005 version of the Thread
City Cyclo-cross Race as several current and past national champions have
confirmed their participation in selected categories. For more information
or to register for the Thread City Cyclo-cross Race, please go to www.BikeReg.com.
Nebraska Cyclo-Cross Series begins Saturday in Omaha
The Nebraska Cyclo-cross Series begins its sixth year this weekend with
two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday, October 22-23 at Standing Bear
Lake in west Omaha. Over six races, with later rounds in Lincoln and Raymond,
the 2005 series will award $700 in cash prizes at each event and offer
a separate women's event and the addition of a singlespeed race category.
Racing begins at 12:00pm on Saturday with the women's race at 12:45pm
and the men's "A" event at 3:00pm. Sunday's races kick-off at 10:00a.m.with
the women's race at 10:45a.m. and the men's "A" event at 12:30p.m. The
complete race schedule and other race information is available at www.nebraskacycling.org
Registration for the Nebraska Cyclo-cross Series is available on-site
at Standing Bear Lake for both Saturday and Sunday as well as online at
Bubba Memorial Series kicks off
Big Shark Bicycle Company of St. Louis, Missouri, has announced the
return of the Bubba Memorial Cyclocross Series. This year's eight-race
series starts Saturday, October 15 with the Ronde von Evergreen in Carbondale,
Illinois, and continues the next day at Tilles Park in St. Louis, Missouri.
Bubbas will thereafter be held on Sundays until the end of November.
The Bubba Memorial is unique in the world of Cyclo-cross because each
race is held in memory of a dog that isn't dead yet. All racers will get
the opportunity to meet Bubba, the aforementioned not-yet-dead dog, at
the start of the A, B, C, and women's races, and they will also compete
for over $5000 in cash and Bianchi prizes.
The remaining Bubba Memorial schedule:
Bubba #3: October 23 - Faust Park, West St. Louis County
Bubba #4: October 30 - Queeny Park, St. Louis County
Bubba #5: November 6 - Creve Coeur Park, St. Louis County
Bubba #6: November 13 - Faust Park, West St. Louis County
Bubba #7: November 20 - Queeny Park, St. Louis County
Bubba #8: November 27 - Creve Coeur Park, St. Louis County
Rock Lobster Cycles / Jeff Traugott Guitars 'cross team announced
The Rock Lobster Cycles / Jeff Traugott Guitars team will be participating
in regional and countrywide U.S. U.C.I. 'cross events and includes the
Elite Men: Brent Chapman, Ben Dodge, Rob Evans, Aaron Kereluk, Aaron
Odell, Joshua Snead, Simon Vickers
Elite Women: Shelly Olds
Master's Women: Julie Brothers
Masters 45+ men: Evan Adams, Larry Bullard, Alan T. Ott, Paul Sadoff.
Men's B: Sean Coffey
Mechanics: Paul Sadoff, Simon Vickers
Team Captain: Brent Chapman
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