Top cyclists from around the world converge on Druid Hill Park this weekend, competing in the 8th annual Charm City Cyclocross. But a variety of races for local cyclists of varying age, experience and expertise are also offered over the two-day event.
Races begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and go off until mid-afternoon each day. The event is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union.
"[Charm City Cross] really does hold a special place in my heart, as does organizer Kris Auer," Great Britian’s Helen Wyman, the U.K’s National Cyclocross Champion, recently told Cyclocross Magazine. “If I could race [Charm City Cross] every weekend, I think I would. Again, the venue is amazing, the support staff at the event are second to none and Baltimore is a fantastic city.”
Other notable professional riders scheduled to appear in this year’s elite race fields are French rider Nicolas Bazin of Team Big-Mat, currently ranked 34th in the world, and 17th-ranked Joyce Vanderbeken of Belgium, according to Charm City Cyclocross press release. Baltimore cyclist Laura Van Gilder, who races for Hampden bike shop Twenty20’s own C3-Athletes Serving Athletes team, is currently ranked 34th among the world’s elite women, will also compete.
Cyclocross combines mountain biking, cross-country and criterium skills, with riders racing through a closed circuit course of mixed terrain, typically including “flights of stairs, sandpits, logs and other obstacles that require riders to dismount and remount their bikes multiple times throughout the race.”
“At this year’s race, we wanted to not only draw some of the top cyclocross racers in the world, but we also wanted to keep the event local and provide an experience that the entire city can enjoy,” said Kris Auer, Twenty20 Cycling owner and race organizer. “We want this year’s competitors to be able to invite their friends and families and to provide a fun and exciting experience for them when they come to cheer. Whether it’s a family passing through the park on their way to the Zoo, or a group of friends who have traveled to Baltimore to cheer on a racer that day, we want them to have a good time and see what the fastest growing sport in cycling is really like.”
More information can be found at www.twenty20cycling.com
Cyclists interested in racing can register at www.bikereg.com. Spots are limited.