Statesville to host bicycle race Aug. 1
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Saturday, Jul. 26, 2014

Statesville to host bicycle race Aug. 1

  • Want to go?

    The Statesville Criterium Bike Race will begin 6 p.m. Aug. 1 in downtown Statesville. Register by July 29 at www.crossroadscyclingclassic.com or in person on the day of the race.

On Aug. 1, Statesville will host the Statesville Criterium Bike Race, one in a series of five races in different cities over six days.

Professionals and amateurs alike will race in the criterium, which will cover 0.6 miles in downtown Statesville in several races lasting 30-60 minutes, depending on the rider’s ability.

The Statesville Criterium will be the fourth leg of the Giordana Crossroads Class, which will hold races in Mocksville, Kannapolis, Salisbury, Statesville and Asheboro from July 29 to Aug. 3.

A criterium race is one of the most intense in cycling, said Neal Boyd, owner of Charlotte Sports Cycling, which sponsors the race. A course usually is less than a mile long with numerous turns, so cyclists must find a balance between high speeds and strong bike handling.

The race series began in 2001 after Boyd and others at Charlotte Sports Cycling decided there was a void in competitive cycling in North Carolina. “The area has always been a popular cycling area,” said Boyd, so it was overdue to create a race.

Statesville is the only city to have hosted the event for all 14 years of its existence, and according to the race’s website, the city promises on of the most exciting courses due to its “L” shape.

Although the large purse, more than $23,000 in prizes, will draw a number of professional cyclists, the race is open to all levels of cyclists, and almost 75 percent of participants are amateurs, according to Boyd.

Anyone can sign up for the entire series or just one day, and on the last two days of the series, kids can sign up as well.

For those who just want to observe, a criterium allows spectators to see riders many times, due to a short course and fast races, Boyd said. Multiple races let observers see numerous starts and finishes.

The best place to watch is the starting line on West Broad Street, Boyd said. Spectators can hear the announcer tell the statistics and see the finishes of each race.

Tucker: 704-358-5112

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