Summer’s cycling enthusiasm inspires USA Cycling cyclo-cross event

Competitors race up a hill in the 2010 Cyclo-cross National Championships in Bend, Ore.

USA Cycling, inspired by this summer’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge and a growing cycling enthusiasm, will host an inaugural Fall Back Cross race this weekend – marking the first time the sport’s national governing body has hosted an event outside of a national championship.

“We decided to put on this cross race to contribute and be involved with the local cycling community,” said Andrea Smith, spokeswoman for the organization. “We’ve always participated in the local bike to work and other initiatives, but after last summer’s USA Pro Challenge Fun Ride we realized how strong this cycling community really is and wanted to give them just one more thing to get excited about.”

USA Cycling’s Fall Back Cross Race, Nov. 6, will be held on a 1.7-kilometer course at the national governing body’s headquarters, 5943 Delmonico Blvd. Cyclo-cross is a race of many laps on a short course, which might have pavement, wooded trails, hills and obstacles and requires the rider to dismount and carry the bike while getting past the obstruction.

“This is a very vibrant cyclo-cross community in Colorado Springs,” Smith said.

The course was designed by local cyclist and recent cyclo-cross World Cup champion Katie Compton in collaboration with her husband Mark. It winds through undeveloped land and includes two natural run-ups and a cyclo-cross spiral.

Cyclo-cross is not an Olympic sport, but it’s a sport growing in popularity.

USA Cycling, which is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the U.S. including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross, recently launched a race director certification program, modeled after its coaches’ certification program which has had 2,000 licensed coaches complete the curriculum.

This weekend’s cyclo cross race was born from the idea that those doing the race directing instructing ought to host a race of their own. All proceeds from race registration will go back into the development foundation, Smith said.

“It gives us the ability to give some of our employees some hands on experience,” Smith said.

The competition is open to all levels of cyclists and will include a first-time women’s category for riders new to the cyclo-cross discipline. An entire family day is planned with a kids’ skills area, Little Belgium Cross races and a Strider Cup for toddlers in the afternoon, Smith said.

All results will go toward rankings that will be used for call-ups at the 2012 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships set for January in Madison, Wisc.


• Nov. 6 — First race starts at 8 a.m.

• 210 USA Cycling Point (5943 Delmonico via GPS)

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