Racing in the dark around fire dancers and lasers. © Christopher Friesen

Racing in the dark around fire dancers and lasers. © Christopher Friesen

WINNIPEG, CANADA—By the time the Crooked Brothers took to the stage at 8pm for their first set, the rising energy level was already palpable. When Archangel Fireworks kicked off the B Race with a fiery display and the lasers and fire dancers got their shows going, the excitement level would have been through the roof if the Red River Co-op Speedway had a cover on it. DarkCross 2013 served up another successful night of cyclocross racing, setting a new record for a Manitoba cyclocross event with 270 racers. But this year solidified its reputation as one of the best outdoor parties on the prairies. Randy Klassen, owner of race sponsor Klassen Concrete, summed it up nicely: “Awesome time. You kids really know how to tear it up!!”

Not forgotten in all the fun were the series of hotly contested cyclocross races were going on that drew participants from across the province. Manitoba Provincial Team rider Willem Boersma won the Men’s Cat 1/2 Race ahead of teammate Jake Allaire. Craig Penner, of race organizing club Dark Rad Racing, rounded out the podium in third place. In the Cat 1/2/3 Women’s race, Dark Red Racing’s Anna Schappert took the top spot for the third consecutive year. Genevieve Krahn and Andrea Tétrault finished second and third. Results for all races are available at the race website: darkcross.ca.

When the dust finally settled on the Speedway, race organizer Chris Huebner said, “It feels like all the pieces for DarkCross are finally in place; hard racing, great music, and good times. We have been building this event for a couple of years and to see it all come together so nicely is extremely gratifying.”

DarkCross will return for another run in 2014 and hopefully with another record-setting turnout. But Huebner, along with a number of other local cyclocross organizers, is now turning his attention to the task of securing the Canadian National Cyclocross Championships for 2014 and 2015. “We have lined up an exciting downtown race venue at The Forks and are looking forward to the opportunity of showcasing the Manitoba cyclocross scene to the rest of the country and beyond.” Local racers can look forward to a taste of what a national event might be like when the 2013 Provincial Cyclocross Championships are held at The Forks on November 3.

Stay tuned for our joint venture with the promoters, the DarkCross photo contest!