23 August 2010
AFTER A BRIEF SUMMER PAUSE, bike racing in Florida resumes with a great Labor Day weekend race schedule. First on tap is Saturday’s GearLink Cup bike races in beautiful downtown New Port Richey.
Many of us have raced in the sticks (Ocala Road Race), in the dirt (Webster-Roubaix), in industrial parks (DeLand), and even on garbage dumps (Vista View), but downtown New Port Richey promises to be one of the prettiest downtown settings for a criterium ever chosen. The 1k course will take racers across historic Main Street and through the recently re-developed sections of one of the west coast’s most scenic cities. Spectators will watch the charging peleton circle its way around a lovely lake before it crosses the finish line next to Simms Riverfront Park on the banks of the beautiful Pithlachascottee River.
This is the perfect venue for a downtown bike race. Perfect for participants. Perfect for spectators.
Adding to the thrill is a unique and interesting race format that features traditional Criterium Masters races in the morning, followed by a Win-and-Out Finals race just after lunch. The top 20 finishers in the 35+ and 45+ Masters races, and the top 10 finishers in the 55+ Masters race will face-off in a 45 minute race to see who is the best of the best. The winner of lap 15 is the Finals Winner, and he exits the race. But the rest of the racers keep on racing. The winner of lap 16 is the overall Second Place finisher, and he exits the race. But again, the rest of the racers keep on racing. The winner of lap 17 is the overall Third Place winner, and he exits the race. The process continues until lap 20 when the winner of that lap gets Fifth Place and the race is over for everyone. Payouts will extend to 15 places overall.
How COOL is that!
Later in the afternoon the Cat 4 and the Cat 5 races will take place, followed by a GREAT spectator event, the 5k Team Pursuit Challenge. The Pursuit race will take place on the part of the criterium course that loops around Circle Lake. It is a flat, almost-perfect circle, roughly 500 meters per lap. Two teams consisting of two-riders each will start on the course, at opposite ends of the loop. When the gun sounds the racers blast off for 10 balls-to-the-wall laps (5k total) around the lake. The winner is the team with the fastest time. The two best teams in each Category or Masters Division will face off for a final race and a chance to win the coveted GearLink Pursuit Cup. The Pursuit race will take place “Eddy Merckx style” on traditional road bikes, so there’s no equipment advantage or disadvantage. It’s pure mano-y-mano, folks!
At the conclusion of the Pursuit races we will resume racing on the criterium course, as the Pro-1/2 racers line up for what promises to be the event of the day. 75 minutes of non-stop, gut-busting, seriously fast bike racing, vying for a $2500.00 purse. So, whatever floats your boat, lovely city parks, scenic tree-shaded downtown streets, friendly restaurants and pubs, or thrilling super-fast bike races, there’s something for everyone in downtown New Port Richey on Saturday, September 4, 2010.
Don’t miss it!
To register or find out more go to http://www.floridacycling.com/labordaycup.asp and choose the “Labor Day Cup” link.