Check back throughout the weekend as we’ll attempt to bring you live updates of the NACT finals weekend in the Hamptons. Full race description below. Also see the complete series standings here.

by Ken Getchell

Stories of an economic meltdown dominate the daily news and world politics. But cyclocross, at least in America, seems unfazed. Record entries are commonplace and increased purses are the norm. Nowhere is that trend more apparent than this weekend’s Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup on New York’s Long Island.

It seems appropriate that the poster child of American cyclocross’ bull market would be Whitmore’s. The race, after all, is held in “The Hamptons”, an area known for its “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” personality. This year the previously independent event has joined two series: the MAC Powered by SRAM and the new NACT. While the MAC Powered by SRAM affiliation is expected to significantly bolster amateur participation and is a major prize in its own right, there is little doubt about what the drawing cards for the Elite riders are: money, points and the North American Cyclocross Trophy.

Over $16,000 in cash is up for grabs for the UCI Elite riders on November 22-23, with nearly $7,000 of that amount for the women alone, making what is believed to be the world’s richest cyclocross weekend for women for the second consecutive year. If you factor in the NACT season-ending bonuses and the cash and merchandise prizes for the classes comprising the undercard, the total purse at Whitmore’s exceeds $25,000. And the event’s raffle (which offers a complete custom-made Richard Sachs team cyclocross bike as its first prize) offers additional prizes worth at least $10,000 to amateur racers who are automatically entered into the drawing.

To compound the desirability of the event, all four of the Elite Men’s and Women’s races during the weekend are categorized as UCI C1. But Romanow was not content with just UCI money and points, however. So this year, along with other high-profile promoters, he created the NACT to give American and Canadian racers the opportunity to chase even more points for even more money. In the process, they created North America’s most lucrative ‘cross series with $7,000 in season-ending cash bonuses for the top three Elite Men and Women in the all-UCI series. In the end, the NACT is a tribute of a simplicity of vision based on two principles.

“Money and points, baby,” said Romanow. “The two things that racers want are money and points.”