The 2009 Rad Racing GP is in for some big changes this year. The legendary race course will see some modifications, and we’ve got video of some terrain changes within the park that will affect the race course, including the infamous 80-meter long Kona Knapp Time Run-Up.

The “New” Knapp Time Run-Up, which reportedly will remain in some form:

“The Ruins” on the top of the course have also received an upgrade:

Also in store for the 2009 edition are new sponsors and some high-profile confirmed racers including Kona’s new signee, Helen Wyman, Luna’s Alison Dunlap, Planet Bike’s Jonathan Page and new Cal Giant rider Nick Weighall. See official press release below. The event promises some epic battles among the sport’s elite racers. Will it surpass this brutal Steilacoom battle?

Olympia, Wash. – Rad Racing NW/Hagens Berman is proud to host the Rad Racing GP of Cyclocross Presented By Kona and Bradson Technology Professionals on September 20th at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, Wash. This world-class cyclocross event will feature top riders from around the USA and the world in what has become one of the great races to open the U.S. cyclocross season each year.

Cyclocross, described by some as “the toughest hour in cycling,” is an on-road and off-road cycling discipline held on a looped circuit of approximately 1-2 miles. Cyclocross racers navigate mud, sand, pavement, grass, gravel, pasture and mulch. When the terrain is too steep to ride, riders dismount, shoulder their bikes and run.

The Rad Racing GP will be hosted by top junior development squad Rad Racing NW/Hagens Berman, a group dedicated to teaching young people life lessons through the sport of cycling and to developing top regional, national and international junior cyclists. One hundred percent of proceeds from the race will go directly to the Rad Racing NW Junior Development Cycling Team.

For the 2009 edition, Kona Bicycles returns as a major supporter of the event and the Rad Racing team.   “Rad Racing is one of our top programs, they are doing great things for junior cycling, we are proud to be associated with them and we are happy to support their efforts by sponsoring this top notch race,”  – Dan Gerhard of Kona Bicycles.

Northwest company Bradson Technology Professionals headlines the group of new sponsors to the event.  For 30 years Bradson Technology Professionals has been serving customers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond with technical consulting services.  Bradson has offices in Seattle and Portland and is truly proud of their Northwest roots and location.  “Bradson Technology Professionals is excited to sponsor such a great Cyclocross event and be associated with a top notch youth program.”  - Joel Burklund, Director of Professional Services at Bradson.

Other new sponsors for 2009 bring some exciting features to the limelight.

In the Cannondale/SRAM “Pit-zone” mechanics will work feverishly to keep riders on track with their equipment.  Riders who do not have a mechanic, spare wheels, or a spare bike can take advantage of SRAM neutral support.  SRAM will provide help to anybody and everybody who needs it at the venue.

Cannondale jumps into the NW cross scene with sponsorship of the 2009 event.  Along with local dealer “Old Town Bicycles”, Cannondale will be providing pit sponsorship with partner SRAM.

During the course of the weekend, raffle tickets will be sold; two lucky winners will each win a Cannondale cadd9 Cyclcoross frame.  “It’s a winning situation all the way around, we get to participate in a great event that was won last year by Cannondale rider Tim Johnson, we can contribute great raffle prizes, and we help the future of cycling by supporting Rad Racing’s efforts”. – Brian Pickering, Cannondale Bicycles.

TRP Brakes joins the fun with the “TRP Brake-check”, a high speed decent into a hairpin corner that will test the limits of any set of binders.  Riders will be competing for TRP brake-sets as prizes for many categories.

Returning to the race course this year will also be the “Herriott Sports Performance Barriers” where fans can see the art of high speed Cyclocross dismounting and remounting at its finest.  There may even be several “bunnyhoppers” in the mix.

Rounding out the course-features is the Legendary “Kona Knapp-Time Run Up”, 80 meters of the most thigh burning, lung searing, longest and steepest run up in the country.  This feature is what Steilacoom is known for and in 2009 it won’t disappoint.  Love it or hate it, you have to race it at least once.

Race Fans will watch over 400 top competitors, including 2008 US National Champion Ryan Trebon (Kona). Trebon and his trusty teammate Barry Wicks will have to contend with 2008 Rad Racing GP Champion Tim Johnson and his Cannondale/Cyclcocrossworld.com teammates Jeremy Powers and Jamey Driscoll.  If that were not enough, 3-time US National Champion and 2007 World Championship Silver Medalist Jonathon Page will be making his first appearance at the Rad Racing GP.

Stepping into the Elite Category this year will be current U23 National Champion Nick Weighall (California Giant).  Weighall is a Rad Racing NW Alumni who dominated the US U23 ranks last season winning the overall USGP title, and capping it off with the National title last December in Kansas City.  With a new sponsor and a greater level of support, Weighall is super motivated to make his mark in the Elite ranks.

On the women’s side Alison Dunlap (Luna) makes her return to International Cyclcocross at the weekends events.  Alison is a former World Champion and Olympic Team member on the mountain bike, in Cyclocross she is a former five-time national champion and a winner of the Rad Racing event in 2002.  Also confirmed is Great Britain’s Helen Wyman (Kona), 16th at last year’s World Championships, and currently ranked #6 in the world.

Rad Racing GP joins “Starcrossed” scheduled September 19th, as the opening two rounds of the North American Cyclcocross Trophy national series.  The series joins the top cyclocross races from coast to coast in a series designed to attract top talent.  Amateur riders will be able to race the same course as the professional as they battle for points in the Seattle area based MFG Series.

One more great feature to the weekend is a free Cyclocross clinic.

Herriott Sports Performance in conjunction with Lake Washington Velo and RAD Racing present a FREE cyclo-cross clinic featuring Jonathan Page and Alison Dunlap.   This is a unique opportunity to take instruction from two of the most accomplished cyclocross racers in American history.  The clinic will be held at the King County’s Marymoor Velodrome / Star Crossed course in Redmond from 5 30- 6:45 pm on September 18th.  Look for the HSP tent where you can stow bags and extras.  No sign up or registration required, just show up on time and be prepared to learn from the best. For questions about this event contact Herriott Sports Performance at:  206-816-3436

For more information on the Rad Racing GP and Rad Racing NW:  radracingnw.org

For more information on the North American Cyclocross Trophy: nacyclocross.com

For information on the MFG Series: mfgcyclocross.com

Rad Racing GP Sponsors: Kona, Bradson Technology Professionals, Full Speed Ahead, Schwalbe, Chris King, Herriott Sports Performance, Giro, Voler, Cannondale, and Old Town Bicycles