“10 + 1, the second decade has begun!”  That’s the mantra of the organizers of one of MAC’s oldest races, the Capital Cross Classic presented by The Bike Lane in the Washington DC suburb of Reston Virginia on December 6th.  Traditionally the final race in the MAC Series, Capital Cross starts its second decade by returning to its roots as a purely domestic race.

“There were many advantages to being a UCI race,” says promoter Chip Sovek.  “But, as a season-ending race, there are a lot of advantages in being sanctioned only by USA Cycling, too.  The primary thing it gives us is flexibility.  MAC’s race program has grown dramatically since our first race eleven years ago, to the point where the amount of available daylight has become an issue for races like mine, which are later in the season.  Since Capital Cross is only two weeks before the shortest day of the year, switching to USAC sanctioning lets us combine classes in different ways so we can shorten the race program by an hour, which we really need.”

Sovek says there are sporting advantages to the sanction change as well.  “UCI races are great, but as a season-ending race in a series like MAC, going the straight USAC route gives riders a chance to ‘cat-up’ and race Elite for one race, without jeopardizing their entire season because, for the vast majority of them, this is their last race of the season anyway.  Lots of times, riders are hesitant to make the leap to the Elite classes because it’s intimidating and because many riders are afraid it’s a one-way street and they won’t be able to move back.  The way MAC’s Elite classes are organized for non-UCI races gives riders the option to try them, without committing for a full season.”

As if that wasn’t enough to encourage more riders to step up to the big leagues, it has been announced that elite men and women will be racing for equal payouts.  The Capital Cross Classic presented by The Bike Lane will offer a completely equal prize list to the elite women for the first time this year.  Both men’s and women’s elite races will pay out a $1,300 cash purse through ten places.  Elite masters will also be competing for cash, while other classes will have medals and merchandise prizes.

In other Capital Cross money news, this year’s race will once again benefit Trips for Kids of Metro Washington DC.  Trips for Kids of Metro DC helps disadvantaged youth in the Metropolitan DC area learn important life lessons through fun and educational mountain bike excursions into Virginia , Maryland and DC parks and nature areas. The goal of these trips is to bring some fun and excitement to the stressful life of today’s DC area youths. These trips also provide the opportunity to educate children about important issues such as self-worth and responsibility, health, nutrition, environment, careers, and other topical issues. Kids leave from their adventure with a sense of accomplishment, a fond memory and new knowledge about themselves and their world.

For more information on MAC’s 11th annual Capital Cross Classic Classic presented by The Bike Lane on December 6, see