by Cynthia Brennan
The cyclo-cross courses of New England have set the stage for countless historic events in the sport: the growth of U.S. cyclo-cross from grassroots to world-class; the development of young athletes who go on to compete in the global arena; the push for equality for women in cycling. New England is the home of the only UCI cyclo-cross series in the country, the unparalleled Verge New England Cyclo-cross Series presented by Stan’s NoTubes and Cycle-Smart.
The keystone of it all has been the legendary Cycle-Smart Northampton International Cyclo-cross, presented this year by Verge. In 2015 the Northampton International, the oldest UCI cyclo-cross race in North America, turns 25. This race found its start in 1991 at the leading edge of American ‘cross. Founder Adam Myerson, then nineteen years of age, invigorated the burgeoning sport. The race launched nothing short of a revolution — and its effects are still being felt today in the continued growth of cyclo-cross in the U.S.
Despite reaching this historic milestone, the race refuses to show its age. Adam Myerson, who has continued as Race President, along with Race Director Alec Donahue and Technical Director JD Bilodeau, refine the event year after year. The 2015 edition of the Northampton International promises to reflect the prestige of this monumental occasion.
“It’s hard to get your head around running an event for 25 years, and what that means historically,” said Myerson. “The event has evolved so much from a small ‘cross race in the woods of Orchard Hill at UMass-Amherst, to eventually becoming the biggest event in New England. Since then, it’s grown into one of the country’s first UCI events, and eventually found its permanent home at Look Park. Passion, patience, and perseverance is really what’s kept us going.”
The Northampton races are the third and fourth rounds in the Verge New England Cyclo-cross Series, following the Series kickoff at the Gran Prix of Gloucester. Series competition will heat up at the Look Park event, which is the mainstay of this storied Series. Competition then heads to Warwick, RI for an exciting finale at the NBX Gran Prix on December 5th and 6th.
Registration is now open. Northampton, Massachusetts’ Look Park will host the historic race on November 7th and 8th. To mark the occasion, a new website has been launched where participants and fans can find registration links and race information: http://www.nohocx.com. Additionally, the race will be bringing back its Friday night registration Pick Up Party at Northampton Coffee, helping ease the crowds on race morning and kick the weekend off.
The 2015 Cycle-Smart Northampton International is presented by Verge Sport, and supported by Joe’s Garage, BikeReg.com, Fort Hill Brewery, and Horst Spikes. In addition to a Fort Hill beer tent, confirmed food trucks include Mission Cantina, Rough House, Rollin Dough, and Sun Kim Bop.