Last year, HPCX winner Lukas Winterberg runs through the mud on the off-camber section. © Ethan Glading
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The 2012 Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross Series proudly welcomes Fuji Bikes as a new presenting sponsor for the 2012 season. Renamed “The Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross Series presented by FUJI,” the series promises to be a highlight of the 2012 East Coast cyclocross season. MAC Series Director and promoter of Charm City Cross Kris Auer looks forward to the new relationship with Fuji Bikes who will provide one frameset per event and two carbon framesets for the overall series winners in the women’s B (3/4) and men’s B (2/3) categories. Each promoter will have the option of either awarding a frameset to the winner of a particular category, or raffling it off.
This generosity toward the “Killer B’s” demonstrates the Series’ commitment to expanding the sport and supporting its base. Elite winners will receive cash, and other prizes will be awarded across all categories.
“With increased sponsorship from Fuji Bikes, Race Clothing, and Bikereg.com as well as a strong UCI presence in the mid-Atlantic, the MAC offers a unique opportunity for regional, national and international racers to test themselves on some of the finest courses on the US circuit,” Auer said.
The MAC Series’ success did not happen overnight, as Auer explains: “Years of work with a clear purpose have brought the MAC to the forefront of cyclocross in the mid-Atlantic, and while there are many strong series offering many strong events and races, the MAC standard continues to set the threshold for cross in the region.”
The international appeal is no exaggeration. Kona Factory Team elite racer and seven-time British National Champ Helen Wyman will return to the U.S. to launch her 2012/2013 season and plans to attend several MAC races including Baltimore’s Charm City Cross. In a CX Magazine report, Wyman gave a shout out to the MAC and Auer in particular.
Charm City, a UCI 2 race, has grown in popularity over the years, drawing over 1000 racers in 2011. The two-day race, located in Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park, draws large crowds of spectators and boasts a course that will make your heart shoot out of your jersey as well as sand pits that will have you rinsing sand out of your chamois for weeks.
Racers have flocked to the MAC, drawn by the individuality of its races which boast a cornucopia of cyclocross courses. For 2012, the series will pare down the number of races offered which will facilitate participation in the entire series. Additionally, and updated website will facilitate gleaning information about the series and its races.
Missing from the 2012 line up are Granogue and Beacon, two of the series most infamous and grueling races. After years of dedicated service to the cross community, the promoters are taking a well-deserved break. Indeed, the only activity harder than racing ‘cross may be promoting it.
Newer races in the lineup offer their own unique challenges. Limestone’s brutal ups and downs and Fair Hill’s log crossings, for example. Veteran promoters Andy Taus and Dave Mitchell enlisted the skills of regional cross Masters superstar Michael Yozell to design the Nittany and Limestone courses that open and close the series. Bring strong legs and a sense of humor because these challenging courses will simultaneously destroy your body and delight your soul. No small feat.
WhirlyBird ’Cross will move to a new venue at Bensalem High School, a short distance from the previous location at Bryn Athyn College. Organizers Guy’s Racing Club, who also deliver the infamous Neshaminy Classic to mountain bike racers, look forward to the new venue at Bensalem High School. Regardless of the location, Guy’s Bicycle Racing Team always put on a terrific, well-organized event. They are responsible for the “Spiral of Death” after all.
Highland Park Cross (HPCX) always tests the skills of the most proficient bike handlers with a onslaught of off-camber turns, switchbacks, mud pits, and bumpy terrain. Last year racers arrived to a treat of early season snow.
Fair Hill, a new venue to cross but familiar to Mid-Atlantic fat tire aficionados, offers something for every taste: roller coaster switchbacks, speed zones, climbs, and a few tricky descents challenge every rider’s strengths while simultaneously exposing their weaknesses.
Expect returning elite champions Laura Van Gilder and Andrew Wulfkuhle to return to defend their titles. With five consecutive wins, it’s hard to imagine anyone prying Van Gilder’s from her.
The 2012 MAC Series Presented by Fuji Bikes Schedule:
- Nittany Cross, day one: Sept 15
- Nittany Cross, day two: Sept 16
- Charm City Cross, day one: Sept 22
- Charm City Cross, day two: Sept 23
- WhirlyBird ‘Cross: Sept 29
- HPCX : Oct 28
- FSVS CX (Fair Hill): Nov 10
- Limestone Cross at the Kiln: Dec 9
With mercury bursting out of thermometers, it’s unimaginable that ‘cross season lurks just around the corner. But there it is, just like the off camber hills at Nittany CX or the Spiral of Death at Whirly Bird.
Registration information can be found on the Mid-Atlantic Cross presented by Fuji Bikes website and on Bikereg.com.