I've been so excited about Spa:CX over the past few days that it's been hard to think about anything else, let alone to focus on any tasks not directly related to the race. And, while we're on the topic, you should probably go ahead and register here. Buy a T-shirt, while you're at it!
Things that I either did not do this weekend, or substantially delayed doing due to my distracted state of mind:
-Vacuumed my apartment after a Halloween Parade party here on Saturday
-Folded my laundry
-Paid my corporate Amex bill (actually, I should probably do that).
-Looked for a place to move to when my lease runs out next month
-Etc. I think you get the picture.
But, there's a lot to be excited about. Improvements over the 2010 version of Spa:CX include:
-More prize money for elite men and women, plus bonus prizes for the top cat 3 man and cat 4 women in the open races -- thanks to our sponsor, Bicycling Magazine!
-Course tape and Kid's prizes courtesy of another sponsor, Shimano!
-Even more kid's prizes from our sponsor Clif Bar!
-Improved course. Last year, we thought we had a difficult run up. Then everyone rode it. Not this year, friends. We've also added about three minutes to the lap, for your enjoyment.
-Better food. You liked last year's wood-fired pizzas? Then you'll love Lilly and the Rose and the Fortunate Cup!
-The most-awesome T-shirts in NYCross.
-Better inter-state representation. At least one PA resident (other than me) will be present and racing Sunday.
-Step-in stakes (Well, we had them last year, but now we own half of one-third of them, so that's cool. It's a long story. Buy me a PBR some time and I'll tell it to you.)
-A registration tent! You won't get wet while signing your USAC waiver (OK, this one's mostly for me and John and the other volunteers, but we're still pretty excited about it).
All that, in addition to last year's racing action, kids' fun, and wheel-sucking sand. Don't miss out!! (Two exclamation points on one sentence, you know it's going to be good!!!)
Now that I've got some of my unabashed excitement out of my system, here's a very formal press release, which was released to the press earlier this evening. I wanted to post this before my cell started ringing off the hook with interview requests (any second now....). See you Sunday!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saratoga Spa Cyclocross sets the stage for racing action and family fun at Saratoga Race Course
250 athletes, 350 spectators expected for third-annual event
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Beginning at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23, cyclocross racers from New York, New England, and beyond will converge on the NYRA Lowlands, on the grounds of the historic Saratoga Race Course for the third-annual Saratoga Spa Cyclocross.
Cyclocross is a style of bicycle racing that evolved in northern Europe, as a way to keep bicycle racers competing through the fall and into winter by moving them off of roads and onto muddy paths and open fields.
Racing places demands on both a competitor’s fitness and dexterity. Cyclists using specialized bicycles with road-style handlebars, but wider, knobbed tires will complete multiple laps on a mile-long course that will force them to navigate obstacles, jump over barriers, and to dismount and run up hill while carrying their bike. With a course marked by tape, fans will have their choice of vantage points – exciting fast stretches on open terrain or on the run-up, where racers will look for a cheer (or jeer) to get them over the top of the climb.
One of the highlights of the day will be a free kid’s race will take place at noon, open to children younger then 10 on a cyclocross-style course. A kid’s practice course will be set up in the expo area for children to ride throughout the day. A bouncy-bounce will also entertain kids while parents take in the racing action (and lunch).
True to the best European tradition, Spa:Cx will be a complete spectator experience, with food available on site from Lilly and the Rose and the Fortunate Cup cafe. An industry expo will feature displays from Serotta Competition Bicycles, Luna Chix, Gore Bike Wear, Sigma Sports (cycling computers and lights), K. Bedford Custom bikes, and HandleBra (locally-made leather handlebar wrap), PrestaFlate Cycles, Aurora Massage Therapy, and the Saratoga Mountain Bike Association.
“After an exciting year at our new venue in 2010, we’ve made improvement to the course that will enhance both the racer-, and spectator experiences,” said promoter John Onderdonk. “Sand is expected to be a pivotal factor in high-level races in coming seasons, and we’ve got lots of it to get Spa:CX racers ready! Best of all, our expo area is located at the bottom of a huge, natural amphitheater – a spectator standing in the expo area eating lunch will be able to see most of the action from one spot.”
Athletes will compete throughout the day in categories broken out by age or ability. Races for children 10-14, and beginner’s categories for adults begin at 9:15 a.m., to be followed by races for master’s athletes competing in 35+, 45+, and 55+ categories at 10 a.m. Intermediate men will follow at 11 a.m. Elite women will race at 12:30 p.m., elite men close out the day at 1:30 p.m. Registration is available on Sunday, or pre-register to avoid a $5 late fee at www.bikereg.com, search for “Saratoga.”
“Saratoga Race Course proved to be an excellent venue for our race in 2010, and we’re really excited to return this year,” said promoter Andrew Bernstein. “By hosting events like ours, the race course shows that it is a vital part of our community, even outside the famed Saratoga meet. We couldn’t have planned a successful event without the track’s generous support, and that of our sponsors, and we are looking forward to a great day on Sunday!”
Sponsors include Elevate Cycles, Blue Sky Bicycles, Bicycling Magazine, Bonacio Construction, Sigma Sports, Gore Bike Wear, Chomper Body, Aurora Massage Therapy, the Saratoga YMCA, and Stone Industries.
This year, we are also proud to have partnered with two charitable agencies that work local and nationally. For the second year, we will raise funds for the Backstretch Employee Service Team, which provides services to backstretch workers at the Spa, and other tracks around the country. This year, we are also pleased to announce that we will make a donation to Team Billy, a Saratoga-based not-for-profit that raises funds to support research into brain tumors.
“Thank you for including Team Billy as one of the recipient charities for the Saratoga Spa Cyclocross. Team Billy has funded over $1,250,000 in brain tumor research through the Billy Grey Research Chair at the National Brain Tumor Society. We welcome interested riders and walkers to join us next Spring on Sunday, May 20, 2012 for a 50-, 25-, 10- mile bike ride and a 3-mile walk at High Rock Park in Saratoga Springs (see teambilly.org for more information). In the meantime, good luck to all the participants at the Spa on the 23rd!” said Ken Grey.
For media inquires, please contact Andrew Bernstein at 917.414.8424 or Bernstein.firstname.lastname@example.org. Interview and photo opportunities are available. For more information please visit our blog: www.spacx.blogspot.com.