SARATOGA SPRINGS – Beginning at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24th, cyclocross racers from New York, New England and beyond will converge on the NYRA Lowlands, on the grounds of the historic Saratoga Race Course for the second-annual Saratoga Spa Cross.
True to the best European tradition, Spa:Cx will be a complete spectator experience, with food available on site from Pies on Wheels (mobile wood fired pizza), Subway and Saratoga Coffee Traders. An industry expo will feature displays from Serotta Competition Bicycles, Embrocation Cycling Journal, Luna Chix, Gore Bike Wear, Sigma Sports (cycling computers and lights), Happy Chain (locally-made lubrication for bicycle chains) and HandleBra (locally-made leather handlebar wrap).
This event was first held in 2009 in Saratoga Spa State Park. “We’re really excited about the new venue,” said promoter John Onderdonk. “The lowlands provide challenging terrain for the racers, while a spectator standing in the expo area eating lunch will be able to see most of the action from one spot. Thanks to the Race Course for hosting our event – this proves that the race course contributes much more then one month of competition to our community.”
One of the day’s highlights will be a “Run What You Brung” event at 12:10 p.m., in which any member of the public can compete in a one-lap race, for free, using any bike, to get a taste of cyclocross. There is no prize for first person to cross the finish line in the Run What You Brung, but the Saratoga YMCA has donated two, three month memberships, which will be awarded to whichever two competitors “need it the most.”
A free kid’s race will take place at noon, open to children younger then 10 on a cyclocross-style course. A kid’s practice course will be set up in the expo area for children to ride throughout the day. A bouncy-bounce will also entertain kids while parents take in the racing action (and lunch).
Athletes will compete throughout the day in categories broken out by age or ability. Races for children 10-14, and beginner’s categories for adults begin at 9:15 a.m., to be followed by races for master’s athletes competing in 35+, 45+, and 55+ categories at 10 a.m. Intermediate men will follow at 11 a.m. Elite women will race at 12:30 p.m., elite men close out the day at 1:30 p.m. Registration is available on Sunday, or pre-register to avoid a $5 late fee at www.bikereg.com, search for “Saratoga.”
“After a successful debut in 2009, sponsors clearly saw the value in this kind of event and have come in droves to support our second year,” said promoter Andrew Bernstein. “We couldn’t have planned a successful event without their generous support and we are looking forward to a great day on Sunday!”
Sponsors include Blue Sky Bicycles, Bonacio Construction, Sigma Sports, Mavic, Anthem Cycles, Serotta Competition Cycles, Chomper Body, Swix, Gore Bike Wear, Champion System, Cycles Gladiator Wine, Saratoga Hot Yoga and Stone Industries.