ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Professional cyclists will be pushing their limits as Virginia’s Blue Ridge Go Cross Race will be exciting spectators and energizing participants this weekend in Fallon Park in Roanoke – home of Virginia’s only permanent cyclocross course.
The two-day competition takes place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18 and 19 and is the opening event of the UCI cyclocross season and on USA Cycling’s ProCX North American calendar.
Professional and amateur athletes will be coming to the Star City from 33 states and four countries – with many more expected to register before the weekend.
“Our goal is to grow Go Cross, just like we have with the Blue Ridge Marathon and GO Outside Festival, into a national-caliber event that enhances the region’s global brand and generates local economic impact, all while becoming yet another asset that makes VBR a vibrant community where people and businesses want to locate.”Pete Eshelman, Director of Outdoor Branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership
For those who are not familiar with how cyclocross works, the racers compete for points that rank them, give them preferred positioning at future races, and get them invitations to world and national championships. This year, the UCI, the international cyclocross’ governing body, changed the way that points were calculated so if elites don’t come to Go Cross, they potentially run the risk of starting the season with no points.
Another highlight for riders includes equal payouts for male and female cyclists from the $12,024 Go Cross purse. The equitable payout structure supports a growing movement in professional cycling.
As far as spectators, positive heckling is encouraged from fans standing only feet away from cyclists as they maneuver through the challenging course.
This year’s bluegrass-themed festivities include Deschutes Brewery (sponsors of the event) having a craft beer garden, a party platform overlooking the sand pit obstacle, food trucks, yard games, a kid’s strider race, live bluegrass music and a bluegrass beer relay with RunAbout Sports where anyone 21 and older can register for a team.
For more information about the race, click here.
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