Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Hup, hup and away! Shortly after the board and promoters of the Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross Series (The MAC) announced the 2011 schedule, over 1,100 entrants registered for the first two events. With only 30 days until the opening race and some categories close to capacity, the series is poised for great success.
Series Director Mike Hebe and associates have grown the popular series, which began in 1998, from a grass roots affair to an international event that boasts a new crop of domestic crossers as well as talented international pros.
2010 elite women’s champ Laura Van Guilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) will defend her title for the fourth year in a row against many newly-upgraded and veteran mid-Atlantic challengers. In addition to winning the elite women’s title for the past 3 years, Van Guilder helped C3 Athletes Serving Athletes cinch the prize for best overall team.
The Dark Side, as C3 is known, will again be a force to reckon with under team director Kris Auer’s leadership. Returning MAC stars Wes Schempf and “Bad Andy” Wulfkuhle will line up with Auer at the start for the elite men and Arley Kemmerer and Elizabeth Harlow will flank Van Guilder to battle the elite women and bring home the team prize for the fourth consecutive year.
UK riders Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Racing), Gabby Day (Team Scott Contessa) and Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles) will start their 2011/12 cyclocross season in the U.S. at the MAC season opener, Nittany Cross, before heading south to Charm City the following weekend. Three-time Danish Champ Joachim Parbo is considering participating in the series, but has yet to confirm.
The 2009 and 2010 MAC Elite and U23 Elite champ, Swiss rider Valentin Scherz, who went on to place 7th in the 2011 U23 Worlds in Germany, will not be here to defend his title. Scherz, known affectionately to MAC riders as “Swiss Cheese,” found his way to the States via the Philadelphia Cyclocross School (PCS), a program that supports cultural exchange via cyclocross. PCS will sponsor 3 more Swiss riders for the upcoming season: Lukas Müller, Lukas Winterberg, and Erik Brügner, as well as local mid-Atlantic elite riders Pat Bradley and Matt Spohn.
The 2011 MAC series offers 14 races spanning from New York to Maryland with most conveniently located within an hour’s drive from Philadelphia. In addition to the usual categories, the MAC offers a Master Women (cat 1-2-3-4) 45+ race which draws racers like national champion Julie Lockhart from New England.
The MAC Series will not include UCI Elite Men/U23/Juniors or UCI Elite Women, but several of the events will host concurrent UCI 2 races for elite racers. While the UCI licensed racers will not earn MAC points in the UCI 2 races, amateurs will.
9/9 Nittany Cross, Day 1 (UCI 2 day one only; elite race not affiliated with MAC)
9/10 Nittany Cross, Day 2
9/17 Charm City, Day 1 (UCI 2 elite race not affiliated with MAC)
9/18 Charm City, Day 2 (UCI 2 elite race not affiliated with MAC)
9/25 Whirlybird Cyclocross
10/15 Granogue, Day 1 (UCI 2 elite race not affiliated with MAC)
10/16 Granogue , Day 2 (UCI 2 elite race not affiliated with MAC)
10/29 Beacon Cyclocross (UCI 2 elite race not affiliated with MAC)
10/30 Highland Park (UCI 2 elite race not affiliated with MAC)
11/12 FSVS XCross at Fair
11/19 Super Cross Cup, Day 1
11/20 Super Cross Cup, Day 2
12/10 Geler Votre Cul Cyclocross
12/11 Limestone Cross at the Kiln
MAC Board member and elite masters racer Kelly Cline explained to his daughter: “There are four seasons: winter, spring, summer and cross.” Cross has arrived in the mid-Atlantic where eager racers have dusted off their cross bikes to participate in pre-season cross craziness like grass track, trail rides on cross bikes and beginners’ clinics. It’s all happening now to prepare for the races looming across the country that support the burgeoning popularity in America of this European sport.
So get out your skin suit, dust off your cowbells, and apply your favorite embrocation. You won’t need a passport, but with the increasing number of international participants, you may feel like you will. Register for MAC Series races at Bikereg.com and find technical information, directions, and other pertinent information.