Two-Day Cyclocross Event Puts Rochester in International Sports Spotlight Sept. 7-8
August 29, 2019
Rochester, N.Y. (Aug. 29, 2019) – Off-road, internationally-sanctioned bicycle races head to Rochester’s Genesee Valley Park for the first UCI Category 1 event on the USA Cycling Professional Cyclocross (ProCX) calendar. Rochester Cyclocross, Sept. 7-8, provides two days of UCI races for elite men, women and juniors, as well as amateur events each morning and a pre-event Cyclocross clinic.
Rochester Cyclocross, which began in 2008, has become a significant event for the ProCX four-month season, as it is one of just four C1 UCI races in North America that offer top points and prize money. It takes place a week prior to two World Cup events in the U.S. The event features some of the world’s top male and female cyclocross racers.
“This year will be my sixth year attending Rochester Cyclocross, and this one holds just as much excitement as all the rest. Every year it’s the kick off of my season and ALWAYS a much anticipated battle,” said reigning and three-time U.S. Cyclocross Elite Men’s national champion Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) of Massachusetts. He won both ProCX races in Rochester last year. “The event crew do such an amazing job at presenting a Class 1 event for the riders to be challenged. It really sets the tone for the rest of the season. I can’t wait to start racing!”
Elite athletes in the C1 and C2 events are attending from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Switzerland, and the U.S. Headlining the men’s field with Hyde will be six of the top seven performers from last year’s ProCX calendar, including 2018 champion Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano), who lives in N.C., and 2017 champion Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) of Calif.
“I’m thrilled Rochester puts on a C1 year after year. The points are invaluable, especially so early in the season. Being a C1, it attracts every top racer in the nation, which means we get to see who did their work and training over the summer. I’m excited to see where the cards fall in a little less than two weeks,” said Ortenblad (@mctubbbin on Twitter/Instagram), who was fourth overall in the 2018 ProCX standings, including a third place in the C1 race in Rochester.
On the Elite Women’s side, seven of the top eight riders in the 2018 ProCX standings make this a stacked field. Two-time 2018 Rochester Cyclocross winner Maghalie Rochette (CXFever p/b Specialized) of Canada returns to defend her title. She’ll be challenged by ProCX silver medalist Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) of Colorado and bronze medalist Rebecca Fahringer (Kona Maxxis Shimano) of New Hampshire.
“I like Rochester because it is so early in the season, everything feels fresh and new, and it is like the first week of school,” said Fahringer, who took two Top 10s at Rochester Cyclocross last year. “Because Rochester is early in the U.S. season and has a high international rating (UCI C1 event), it draws a lot of big names. Also, some Europeans are in the U.S. getting ready for the World Cups in the weeks after. So fans can see firsthand how racers are going after the off-season, and can see talents that may not usually race together go head-to-head!”
For athletes, pre-registration remains open through Wed., Sept. 4, 11:59 a.m. ET. The cost is $55 for UCI Elite Men and Women, and $45 for UCI Junior Men 17-18. Amateur events range from $15-45.
For beginner and seasoned cyclocross riders, a CX Tech Clinic will be held Fri., Sept. 6 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Pro cyclists Fahringer and Werner, who both race for the Maxxis Shimano Cyclocross Team, will be the instructors. Hands on instruction and tips will cover everything from how to cross planks and conquer Belgian steps to nutrition. The cost is $40 for the two-hour clinic, available to all amateurs via advanced online registration (www.bikereg.com/rcx-clinic).
“I think the clinic gives a little insight into the close-knitness of the community. Kerry Werner and I are two multi-time World Championship contenders, but we will be there learning the course with you. That’s like a NASCAR driver letting you sit shotgun or Tiger Woods taking you out to the golf course,” noted Fahringer (@gofahr on Twitter/Instagram) about Friday’s clinic.
While the races showcase the top professional cyclists in the business, it also provides amateurs an opportunity to test their legs on the same elite course and provides spectators with incredible entertainment. First and foremost, admission to the event is FREE for spectators. Two professional race announcers will provide ongoing commentary with a backdrop of music each day. Children can bring their own bicycles and helmets and ride on a special mini course.
Locally brewed beers from Rohrbach Brewing and delicious local food from Neno’s Gourmet Mexican and Chef’s Catering will be on site at Genesee Valley Park both days. Chef’s Catering will have breakfast starting at 8:30 a.m. with a special menu for the weekend of vegetarian, chicken and beef gyros. Neno’s Gourmet Mexican is a perennial local favorite that frequently sells out. Joe Bean Roasters will be handling coffee for the weekend with hand brewed hot and cold beverages all weekend.
“From the charging stations to the amazing venue, to the world-class staff of smiling faces. With such an open venue it really adds a great visual experience for the fans to be able to watch almost the whole race from one spot,” noted Hyde (@stephenthyde on Twitter, @stephenhyde on Instagram) about what makes the race special for fans.
The 3.2-kilometer course is designed in a U-shaped trail that makes it very spectator friendly. The terrain includes punchy, small climbs and descents, with approximately 139 feet of vertical climbing on each lap. The race course includes the notorious ABUS Double Trouble section with tight turns, steep incline and roots. It also features a man-made Trek Cross Barrier obstacle, multiple run-up sections, and the Full Moon Vista Belgian staircase. New for 2019 will be a direction change from the holeshot, starting chute, on Day 2, which will send riders on the North Section of the course for the first lap only.
“I also love the course. It has a great mix of drag-race power sections and tricky little technical bits,” added Fahringer. “(It) really lets you flex every bit of your skillset, or identify areas of weakness to work on moving forward.”
Limited free parking is available within Genesee Valley Park adjacent to the race course. Paid parking is available in the University of Rochester west lots off Kendrick Road. For big teams with vehicles and rigs to display, there is a dedicated parking lot on level ground in the center of the venue, next to the finish line.
What is Cyclocross
Cyclocross is a hybrid between road cycling and mountain biking, taking all the action of a criterium off-road. Circuits are typically 1.5 to 2 miles long on a course featuring a variety of surfaces, such as pavement, grass, sand, gravel, and dirt. Riders must negotiate a number of obstacles on each circuit, many which force riders to dismount and carry their bicycles. Multiple laps showcase these elite riders’ phenomenal skills and amazing speed, while providing areas where spectators can view the action multiple times from one location.
About Rochester Cyclocross
Rochester Cyclocross began in 2008 as the Ellison Park Cyclocross Race. It was a one-day amateur event in a Monroe County Park with a total of 65 racers. The race became a two-day UCI event in 2012. In 2014, one day was elevated to Class 1 with the second day a Class 2 for elite competitors. Genesee Valley Park became the new venue in 2016. Full Moon Vista Bike & Sport, which produces the Rochester Twilight Criterium in May, and Monroe County host this event, which is the only C1 Cyclocross event in New York State for the 2019 season. For more details on Rochester Cyclocross, visit the event website – rochestercyclocross.com, as well as Facebook (rochestercyclocross) and Instagram (@rochestercyclocross).
The ProCX calendar includes all of the UCI-inscripted category 1 and 2 races in the country. In 2019, there are 36 C1 and C2 events across 15 states and the District of Columbia, and two World Cup events as well. The best individual male and female cyclocross racers are determined over the course of the season using an overall ranking system. For more information, visit www.usacycling.org/national-calendars/pro-cx.
News Media: for information contact Scott Page 585-520-1166 / [email protected]