For the third year in a row, The Rock Lobster Cup brings cyclocross back to Santa Cruz County.
This year's event will be on Sunday, October 22. Registration is open, with a field limit of just 250 racers.
The Rock Lobster Cup debuted with a successful inaugural event at the Bonny Doon Airport, followed by a sold-out event at Lighthouse Field in Santa Cruz that benefited not just the Lobsters but also the state parks and Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz.
Now Paul Sadoff and crew are bringing back their winning fundraising formula and dropping it a few miles north in Wilder Ranch state park.
The new venue is one of the more popular parks for Santa Cruz mountain bikers, and it recently played host to the second-annual Old Cabin Classic mountain bike race.
While the event is once again a lobster claw throw away from the Pacific Ocean, this year's event is expected to be nothing like last year's pancake-flat course at Lighthouse Field.
Instead, the course will follow the Cowboy Loop trail, and boasts a whopping 288 feet of climbing per lap.
Registration is via bikereg.com. No, it's not one of the more affordable races at $50 for most categories. However, there is a 250-racer limit, and $20 of each entry fee goes directly to the state parks, while other proceeds benefit the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and the Rock Lobster cyclocross team.
This year, there's even a four-person relay event at the end of the day. Relay teams are required to have at least one Masters racer and one woman. Rumor has it Karen Brems is hosting a bidding war for her services and ability to fulfill both requirements.
Top-ranked U.S. cyclocross racer Tobin Ortenblad, fresh off three-straight wins out East, has said he'll be making the 2017 Rock Lobster Cup a priority in his busy schedule and will fly home to contest the event in his backyard.
Want a taste of what the 2017 event might serve up? See our photo gallery from the successful 2016 event below.
More info and registration: bikereg.com/lobster-cup-three