Antonneau and Day take different approaches to the stairs at Providence. © Cyclocross Magazine
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND—In addition to the new inductees of the Society of the Wooly Mammoth (nominations open now) being honored at the Builders Ball on the Friday evening of the Providence Cyclocross Festival, the promoters have also announced a new race to be added to the afternoon racing schedule of singlespeed and fat bike events: a cyclocross Madison. (For those of you unfamiliar with the track term, it’s a race where two racers are on a ‘team’ and trade on and off the course—in this case, riders will trade off in the pit, on a track, they fling each other forward, slingshot-style.)
The Providence Cyclo-cross Festival will move its junior events to Saturday and Sunday to comply with a request from the Union Cycliste International, the governing body of the sport. The Festival will still host racing on Friday afternoon that is not subject to UCI restrictions starting at 4 p.m. New to the schedule will be an innovative “Cyclo-cross Madison” that features two-rider teams that can make exchanges in the pit area.
Registration for those newly scheduled events will open Monday, Sept. 16, at 12 noon EDT.
“We want to offer the best racing possible for juniors in the Northeast. Without any UCI events in our region, some of the best riders in the world were struggling to travel to earn those critical points,” said Event Director Richard Fries. “We wanted to have an event here. But we also wanted to respect the Verge Series standards, which only holds Junior 15-18 categories.”
Providence staff initially scheduled a single UCI 17-18 race for Friday evening, with those juniors receiving premier treatment. Last week, however, the UCI informed the organizers that regulations require a junior race to be held on the same day as the elite men. Hence, the organizers will host a UCI 17-18 race on both days of the weekend.
This will create a separate 15-16 race on the weekends as well. Those races will not count towards the Verge New England Championship Series overall standings.
“We apologize for any confusion but realize this also creates amazing opportunities,” said Fries. “We are also thrilled to enhance our fun Friday offerings that are non-UCI events. With this new slot opening up on Friday evening, I get the chance to promote something I’ve always wanted to see, a cyclocross Madison.”
The 60-minute event will be open to all categories but there will be combined age brackets. Racing for merchandise prizes, competitors will be competing in one of four categories: overall, Under-46, 80-plus, and co-ed for mixed teams. The entry fee will be just $25 per person.
“We cannot think of a better way to pre-ride the course,” said Patrick Goguen, the competition director. “Effectively riders are getting in four or five hot laps if they race 30 minutes apiece.”
Final rules will be outlined at the start.