Promoters and Sponsors of the Midwest-based Zipp OVCX Tour are sending nearly two-dozen Junior racers to the U.S. National Championships starting December 11th in Bend, Oregon. It’s estimated that it will cost $30,000 to send the Junior contingent across three time zones to compete for the Stars and Stripes jerseys.
The Ohio Valley has some of the strongest junior cyclocross programs in America. Louisville Kentucky’s Red Zone squad, which is preparing for the last race ever at its former home at the River Road Country Club this Sunday, is bringing 15 kids. Queen City Wheels’ Lionhearts Junior team, whose program is in its 10th year and includes organizing the second day of the Cincinnati UCI3 Cyclocross Festival, will be bringing three. One Call Now, based in Troy Ohio, whose kids are no strangers to championship level racing, is also bringing three.
The promoters of the 15-race Zipp OVCX Tour have paid particular emphasis to providing high-quality events for juniors over the past several years, and their work is paying off. Starting grids with over forty 10-14 year-old juniors were not unusual. And not only are the promoters putting on great junior events, they are stepping up financially to assist getting “their” juniors to Oregon. Every OVCX promoter committed $100 of race proceeds at the beginning of the season to a Junior Nationals Fund, and many gave entrants an opportunity to donate during online race registration. Online registration services like BikeReg.com and Truesport waived their fees for these donations. Some promoters even went above and beyond. The season-opening Kings ‘Cross weekend raffled a tubular wheelset for the benefit of the fund. The promoter of last weekend’s Buckingham Financial Ohio State Championships purchased all the necessary gear and supplies so that the QCW Lionhearts Junior team could sell Belgian waffles – which the spectators and racers gobbled up.
This weekend, the promoters of the season-ending Storm the Greens are not only donating race proceeds to Red Zone, they are also setting them up to sell chili to the huge crowds expected for the last-ever race at what has become the spiritual center of cyclocross in Louisville, the iconic River Road Country Club. Red Zone is also hosting a pancake breakfast on Saturday Dec 5th of race weekend from 8-10 a.m. at Applebees on Ormsby
Storm the Greens will be open to pre-registration only (no walk-up registration), closing at midnight tonight. For more information on the Zipp OVCX Tour’s Junior Nationals Fund, contact Doug Dobrozsi at [email protected].