by Brook Watts
In a sign that the start of the U.S. cyclocross season is upon us the North American Cyclocross Trophy series starts its third season in Seattle with a pair of long-standing cyclocross classics this weekend.
The 8 races series kicks off with StarCrossed on Saturday September 18 at the Marymoor Velodrome in the suburb of Redmond. This “under the lights” classic boasts a big field of national and international heavy hitters include multiple national champions in both the men and women’s categories. First presented in 2002, StarCrossed was the nation’s first twilight cyclocross race. Now, it is the much anticipated season opener to the US cyclocross season kicking-off each year in style under the lights of the Marymoor Velodrome on a fast and spectator friendly course surrounded by a festive atmosphere. StarCrossed features great racing, DJ spun tunes, a packed Deschutes Brewery beer garden, racing under the lights and the generous door prizes. Racing for the Elite Women starts at 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm for the Elite Men at King County’s Marymoor Park.
Who will be the first holder of the Castelli leaders jersey heading into the Rad Racing Gran Prix the next day on Sunday September 19th? The longest running UCI ‘cross race in the state of Washington, 2010 will be the 9th year for the Rad Racing GP. The event moves to the shores of Lake Sammamish in eastern Seattle, bringing a fabulous course featuring high-speed balance by a brutal beach section on the shores of Lake Sammamish with views of the Cascade Mountains. The famous 80 meter thigh busting “Knapp-time Run-up” from past editions of the Rad Racing GP will be replaced by a equally long beach section that will challenge riders as they gamble on riding it or running it. Riders either really love it or they hate it but regardless they will be stirred on by frantic race fans in the beachside Deschutes Beer Garden. Racing for the Elite Women starts at 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm for the Elite Men and Lake Sammamish State Park.
Organizers of StarCrossed and Rad Racing GP have worked together to create “Four Perfect Days of Cyclocross in Seattle” with activities that include the Seattle premier of the new Brian Vernor cyclocross film “The Cyclocross Meeting,” a cyclocross clinic for all abilities led by Jonathan Page and two days of great cyclocross racing.
After the first weekend of racing the NACT series resumes October 2-3 with the Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester in Gloucester, MA.
Created in 2008, the NACT series is comprised of “the classic cyclocross races” across North America showcasing the best ‘cross courses and attracting internationally ranked competitors. The overall series winnings combined with daily prizes make it the richest cyclocross series in North America.
Key among the changes for the 2010 season will be an equal prize list for Men and Women. Also new for 2010 is rider travel support for the top 3 riders each race weekend to recognize the effort and expense top competitors face in racing the series. Finally a change was made for 2010 to base the final series championship on a rider’s best 6 of 8 race results to account for any illness, injury or mechanical difficulties that can occur over a 10-week season.
For Starcrossed information: http://www.starcrossedcx.com
For Rad Racing GP information: www.radracingnw.org
For NACT information: http://nacyclocross.com
9/18 – Star Crossed p/b Stanley – A brand of PMI - Seattle, WA
9/19 – Rad Racing Gran Prix p/b Hammer Nutrition - Seattle, WA
10/2-3 – Great Brews Gran Prix of Gloucester – Gloucester, MA
10/30 – Pedal to Properties Colorado Cross Classic - Boulder, CO
10/31 – Victory Circle Graphix Boulder Cup - Broomfield, CO
11/20-21 – Whitmore’s Landscape Super Cross Cup – Southampton, NY
2010 Series Sponsors include Bob’s Red Mill, Castelli and BikeReg.com