Posted by Editoress on 10/31/13
Manitoba's top cyclists will head to the Forks on November 3rd to compete in the 2013 Manitoba Cyclo-cross Championships. The races, presented by Wallace + Wallace Fences, will see provincial champions crowned in a variety of age disciplines ranging from under 15 to over 50. In addition, there will be a non-championship race that is open to anyone who wants to give cyclo-cross a try.
While November in Winnipeg may not seem like prime cycling season, cyclo-cross is traditionally a fall and winter discipline with late-season races frequently taking place on courses covered with a dusting of snow. Cyclo-cross racing in Manitoba has experienced tremendous growth in the past few seasons, with some races now drawing close to 300 participants. Event co-organizer Chris Huebner explains, "Cyclo-cross is a unique discipline that combines the technical challenges of mountain biking with the speed of road racing. Somehow it manages to be extremely demanding and fun at the same time. It is also entertaining to watch, with numerous opportunities for spectators to get close to the action. We believe that the Forks is a perfect venue for a cyclo-cross race and we'd love to see a huge crowd of hardy Winnipeggers come out to take part or cheer on the racers."
Paul Jordan, Chief Operating Officer with the Forks, also sees it as a fitting venue for cyclo-cross. "The Forks is excited to host the Manitoba Cyclo-cross Championships," Jordan says, "and we are very interested to see our site transformed into a race venue. Gathering for healthy recreation and for a fun spectator event fit perfectly with what we're about. We are looking forward to an exciting race this Sunday."
The race course will highlight many of the Forks' key attractions. Starting on the historic rail bridge, the 3 kilometre circuit will travel to the Festival Park area before passing through the heart of the Forks Market Plaza and snaking its way down to the River Walk and back up to the Oodena Celebration Circle via the terraced levels. Racers can expect a fast, challenging course with variety of different terrains, including grass, gravel, sand, pavement, and cobblestones. Spectators will enjoy the numerous vantage points from which to watch the action and cheer for their favourite racers, including numerous indoor options.
Race organizers, Chris Huebner and Ian Hall, are also heading up a team that has submitted a bid to host the Canadian Cyclocross Championships in 2014 and 2015. If their bid is successful, cyclocross racing will return to the Forks next fall when some of Canada's top cycling talent converges on Winnipeg's favourite meeting place.
This weekend's racing action gets under way at 12:30 pm on Sunday with a fun race for kids aged 12 and under, followed by the "Open Race" at 1:00 pm. The two championship races are at 2:00 pm and 3:15 pm. Admission for spectators is free. For more information, including online registration, visit www.darkredracing.ca .
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