TREXLERTOWN, P.A. — Nittany Lion Cross, the first races in the Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross Series, kicks off its 10th edition this weekend September 12-13th with back-to-back UCI C2 races. Known as the back-to-school event of East Coast cyclocross, Nittany Lion Cross has increasingly drawn national and international talent over the past several years and expects over 1,400 race starts over two days. Last year, Gabby Durrin and surprise dark horse Jacob Lasley, were able to storm to Day One wins to start the UCI season on the right foot. The following is information from the Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross:
Held on the grounds races on the grounds of the Valley Preferred Cycling Center, the Nittany course offers generously wide racing lanes appropriate to its ever-growing field sizes, while rewarding racers who can rail each of the corners. “It’s a very fast race with a lot of technical turns, but a course that encourages group racing,” said Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart).
In the Elite Women’s field, the course should favor last year’s Saturday and Sunday winners Gabby Day (Neon Velo Cycling Team) and Laura Van Gilder (Van Dessel), as well as other fast finishers like Arley Kemmerer (Level Eleven Racing p/b PB2) and Ellen Noble (JAM/NCC/Vittoria). They face stiff competition from the Colorado invasion of teammates Crystal Anthony and Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo), however, and the forecasted rain may force a change from the past few years.
Among Elite Men, Belgium’s Wietse Bosmans (BKCP-Corendon) enters as the top-ranked rider after winning both UCI C1 races at the Qiansen Trophy Cup in China. Meanwhile, Cameron Dodge (Unattached), Dan Timmerman (Stan’s NoTubes Elite CX), and Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) have all raced well at Nittany in the past, and hold the home-field advantage ahead of a record 70 registered racers.
Nittany Lion Cross also marks the debut of several revamps to the MAC Series, sponsored by BikeReg.com and Voler. Most notable is full equal pay to all places for Elite Women and Men. “It’s important to note that this change was led by our veteran race promoters of both genders,” said MAC Committee representative Caitlin Thompson. “Back in 2010, MAC was a pioneer in equal payouts to top 3 men and women. Now field sizes and quality have exploded, the racers’ constructive chats with promoters are leaving an impression, and it’s time to go all the way.” Additionally, race duration for Elite Women is extended to 45 minutes.
A new 20-minute young juniors race for ages 9-10, 11-12, and 13-14 also makes its debut. Any youth is welcome to race, although the new race category coincides with the launch of the region’s first kids-only cyclocross team. “We have riders from racing age 9-14, with a good mix of boys and girls,” said Jed Kornbluh, CX Kids Director. “It’s important and I’m glad the MAC is leading the way for our region.”
The series continues with the following races:
#1-2 Nittany Lion Cross (UCI C2) · Sep 12-13
#3-4 Charm City Cross (UCI C2) · Oct 10-11
#5-6 HPCX (UCI C2) · Oct 17-18
#7 Whirlybird Cross · Oct 24
#8 Fair Hill Cross · Nov 7
#9 Kutztown Cross · Nov 14
#10 Limestone Cross at the Kiln · Dec 13