Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 2nd, 2009 at 12:13 pm
The Cross Crusade cyclocross race series is set to get underway this Sunday and organizers expect a record turnout of competitors.
Portland architect and urban planner Rick Potestio is one of the founders of the Cross Crusade. He says Oregon Bicycle Racing Association officials are seeing pre-registration numbers up about 20-30% over last year, putting the expected racer turnout in the 1,500 to 1,700 range. That would make the Alpenrose race (the first of eight races in the series) the largest cyclocross race in the world in terms of participation.
The series opener at Alpenrose is perenially the biggest race of the year. Since 2006, racer registration at Alpenrose has seen a steady climb. In 2006 there were 760 competitors, in 2007 that number went up to 1,078 and last year 1,267 people showed up to compete.
In addition to racers, Alpenrose draws a huge amount of spectators who come to ring cowbells and enjoy the festive atmosphere in the vendor/expo area.
The event is held on the grounds of Alpenrose Dairy in the hills southwest of Portland. Potestio is a little nervous about the large turnout, but says that thanks in large part to cooperation from the Dairy, he’s confident they can handle the crowds. “The Alpenrose folks have been great, they’re actually pulling all of their trucks off of the property for Sunday.”
Other venues on this year’s schedule include the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro, the Sherwood Forest Equestrian Center in Sherwood, the Portland International Raceway in Portland and others.
The map of the Alpenrose course has just been released. Check it out via Google maps.
For a look at the action from last year, check out the slideshow below: