UCI cyclocross racing kicks off on September 1 and 2 at Virginia’s Blue Ridge GO Cross Race presented by Deschutes Brewery in Roanoke, Virginia. Cyclocross Magazine and the GO Cross race have partnered to highlight the unique aspects of the new UCI race, including its setting at a dedicated cyclocross park and free entries for pre-registered women racers.
Cyclocross racing in the U.S. gets an early start this year when Virginia’s Blue Ridge GO Cross Race p/b Deschutes Brewery in Roanoke, Virginia kicks off the American 2018/19 calendar on September 1 and 2.
Go Cross is new to UCI status, but it is not the first year the race has been held in Roanoke. The race started in 2016, and now in its third year, has received UCI designation. With the C2 status, the race is expected to draw some of the top professional cyclocross talent in the U.S., especially those who live on the East Coast.
The title sponsor of the 2018 race is Virginia’s Blue Ridge regional tourism association, and Deschutes Brewery is its presenting sponsor.
Amateur and professional cyclocross racing are the focal point of the GO Cross event, but there are several other activities going on during the weekend. The racing starts on Saturday morning with a one-hour running race on the ’cross course, there are “Lil’ Belgians” kids’ races on Saturday and Sunday and racers can socialize on Saturday night at Deschutes Tasting Room after party.
GO Cross offers free race entries to all pre-registered women riders sponsored by East Coasters Bike Shop and Trek Bicycle. Roanoke Outside Foundation Event Manager Julia Boas said the free racing opportunity for women is part of the Roanoke cycling community’s committed effort to keep the sport open to a diverse group of participants.
One unique feature of GO Cross is its setting. The race takes place at Roanoke’s Fallon Park, which is the home of the only permanent cyclocross course in Virginia. The course and its features will be utilized for the race.
The grounds at Fallon Park include a sand pit and run-up, and the organizers have built a flyover for the race.
The cyclocross course at Fallon Park is one of the jewels of the network of trails and ride centers the Roanoke Outside Foundation and East Coasters Bike Shop have worked to build in the Roanoke area. The work has also included making Carvins Cove—which is one of the largest municipal parks in the U.S.—accessible to cyclists.
Part of the goal of hosting GO Cross is to showcase the city’s extensive bike facilities. The City of Roanoke recently received a Silver Ride Center designation from IMBA for the network of trails, paths and parks such as Fallon Park in the city and within riding distance.
GO Cross’ setting at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains provides an opportunity for cyclocrossers from several states to kick their seasons off with regional UCI racing. Roanoke is located about 3 hours from Raleigh-Durham, 3 hours from Richmond and 4 hours from Washington D.C.
Registration for GO Cross is now open at bikereg.com.
For more information about the race, visit gocrossrace.com.