Next month, Portland will be introduced to an exciting brand of bike racing: street sprints.
“We hope to bring something new and fresh to the summer racing schedule… The format has never been done here before, and I’m borrowing it from a race series back in Illinois where I grew up.”
— Dave Aldersebaes, Team Ironclad
According to Ironclad team leader Dave Aldersebaes, the sprints will happen in heats of four competitors lined up side-by-side who will sprint for three blocks. “No drafting, top two go on, bottom two go to the bar.” Aldersebaes says the heats will be drawn at random, so it could be
men versus women even Category 1s (pro-level racers) verus Category 5s (novice level) going against each other. [Correction: races will not mix sexes until the final four are determined.]
Aldersebaes says, “We hope to bring something new and fresh to the summer racing schedule… The format has never been done here before, and I’m borrowing it from a race series back in Illinois where I grew up.”
Details are still being finalized, but the race will likely go from NW Quimby to Northrup. Aldersebaes says he’s hoping to land a formal sponsorship with one of the nearby breweries (Laurelhurst and Bridgeport come to mind).
The sprints should be the perfect warm up for the following day when Team Ironclad will host a criterium race in downtown Hillsboro (which would also be a first).
Mark your calendars for July 24th and 25th to watch and/or race what will hopefully become a popular annual event.
— In related news, organizers announced a date of August 13th for the annual Portland Twilight Criterium, which is another must-see racing event in downtown.