Cyclocross Magazine is, obviously, a cyclocross publication, but given it is the offseason, any time we see an event inspired by cyclocross it is likely to catch our interest. One such event coming up is the new Gravicross race being held on Mt. Bachelor outside Bend, OR on Saturday, July 15.
Gravicross takes fun downhill features such as jump lines and drops and crams them into a short, spectator-friendly course similar to a cyclocross circuit. The races will last between 20 and 30 minutes and lap times are expected to be short, so spectators in the beer garden, conveniently located at the bottom of the jump line, will have ample opportunity to enjoy the bike air show.
One way to entice riders to attend a new event is to offer a nice payout to the top riders. Gravicross is doing this and then some, with the top three spots in the Women’s and Men’s Elite fields paying out $1,500-$700-$300. There is also a $500 prize for the rider voted the best trickster over the weekend. With Mathieu van der Poel doing pretty much everything else this summer, his showmanship probably would not hurt him in that competition.
Gravicross is not just for the Elite riders. There are Women’s and Men’s Cat 1 through 3 races, so riders of all skill levels can try their hand at this innovative approach to off-road racing.
Although organizers are expecting most riders to opt for downhill mountain bikes – I mean, 7′ drops? – if the event is successful perhaps there will be a separate cyclocross bike category in future years. Either that or event organizers will have to give Joann Barelli a call.
The Gravicross race on Saturday the 15th is part of a three-day weekend festival. Friday is the true downhill race, and Sunday is kids’ race day, where the lil’ rippers get their chance at the innovative Gravicross concept.
The Beer Garden will be manned by 10 Barrel Brewing of Bend, and music will be provided by the Grizzled Mighty.
For more information about Gravicross, go to mtbachelor.com.