Marian University Hosts 2011 Cyclocross Series; Debuts Mayor’s Cup

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Area sports fans eager to experience the growing popularity of cyclocross can do so in person at one of the newest cyclocross courses in North America beginning Sunday, October 23. The City of Indianapolis and Marian University will host the Indiana Cyclocross Cup for three of the series’ events, along with the inaugural Mayor’s Cup Kids Cyclocross Series and the USA Cycling Collegiate Cyclocross Regionals at the Lake Sullivan Sports Complex this fall.

“One of the great things about cycling is there are so many different ways to enjoy the sport, and I am pleased that with this year’s Mayor’s Cup Kids Series we are able to introduce cyclocross to our urban youth,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “It’s fantastic the City of Indianapolis is hosting these prestigious regional events at our historic Major Taylor Velodrome and Lake Sullivan Sports Complex, which already have seen myriad improvements thanks to the City’s unique partnership with Marian University.”

Both Cup Series will be held on three dates, including Sunday, October 23rd, Saturday, November 19th, and Saturday, December 3rd. USA Cycling Collegiate Cyclocross Regional Championships will also be featured on November 19th.

And to sweeten the deal, spectators will enjoy some of Indy’s finest curb-side cuisine. Three food trucks representing NY Slice Pizza, Scout’s Treats and West Coast Tacos will grace the Lake Sullivan Sports Complex on Oct. 23rd

New Course

The sport of cyclocross uses a hybrid style bike, blending trail and road racing, to create a cross-country cycling event on a spectator friendly, open and rigorous circuit. With these attributes in mind, the new cyclocross course at the Lake Sullivan Sports Complex will not disappoint both competitor and spectator.

Constructed in recent weeks, the cyclocross course at the Lake Sullivan Sports Complex makes use of the property’s ideal features with a layout devised by those well-versed in the sport. “We’re still cleaning up the grounds to make the course just how we want it and we expect to add new elements each month as the racing season heats up,” said Marian University Cycling Coach Dean Peterson. “The December 3 race should include new trail within the park in areas that were recently cleared by 300 Eli Lilly and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful volunteers during their annual day of service – they did more in one day than we could have done in a year.”

Indiana Cyclocross Cup

The Indiana Cyclocross Cup is comprised of 12 events located across the Hoosier state with the new course at the Lake Sullivan Sports Complex set to host a quarter of those. Several hundred elite, novice, masters and junior level racers from all over the Midwest will race for a substantial purse and prizes.

With the three races held at the Lake Sullivan Sports Complex coming at the heart of Indiana Cyclocross Cup series schedule, race action is sure to be intense and spirited.

Mayor’s Cup Kids Cyclocross Series

With a new cyclocross course constructed in the confines of the Circle City, an opportunity was born to introduce the sport of cyclocross to a new generation. After all, bikes play an integral role in the daily life of America’s youth so channeling that interest for Indy’s younger population through cyclocross only seemed natural.

Thus, Indianapolis Mayor, Greg Ballard, and partners from Marian University saw a chance to offer urban youth ages 8-11 their first experiences of racing in this wildly popular cycling discipline. Discussions, became plans, and plans will soon become reality in the form of the Mayor’s Cup Kids Cyclocross Series.

“This is a super cool opportunity for kids to get started in bike racing,” said Marian University Cycling Coach Dean Peterson. “The course will be modified for them and we will provide BMX bikes and helmets for those who do not have their own. We hope once we get kids started they’ll come out regularly on Wednesday evening training sessions to work with experienced cyclists from around the community – no cost, just fun!”

Indy’s youth will transcend upon the Lake Sulivan Sports Complex alongside collegiate and elite racers to make a foray into the sport of cyclocross. Yet the course finish line only represents the beginning of targeted effort to reach the city’s youth.

This unique partnership between Marian University and the City of Indianapolis encompasses all of the Lake Sullivan Sports Complex’s new elements including the BMX course and road course. Now local children and adolescents have access to these facilities and in a safe park specifically designed for cyclists.

USA Cycling Collegiate Cyclocross Regional Championships

On November 19, collegiate riders will join in on the competition as they race for regional titles and an opportunity to contest the USA Cycling Collegiate Cyclocross Nationals at Madison, Wisc. in January, 2012. In addition to Marian University riders taking the grid, the likes of Indiana and Purdue Universities will be represented as well.

Marian is no stranger hosting USA Cycling sanctioned cycling championships, let alone winning them. In each of the last two years, the Knights have utilized the Major Taylor Velodrome at the Lake Sullivan Sports Complex to host and win the USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships. Not to mention, over the last 20 years, Marian riders have captured 14 national collegiate track championships and two road national championships.

As the Knights commemorate a rich 20 years of collegiate cycling, they turn a new chapter by looking to begin the effort of building a championship cyclocross team.

“Hosting regionals is an important step in highlighting this course and venue, said Marian Cycling Coach Dean Peterson. “The location within the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference will encourage more collegiate riders to compete and boost the competition level. The more competitive we can make the racing, the more prepared Marian and other collegiate cyclists can be for the USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals in Madison, WI the first week of January, 2012.”

 

 

Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!
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