2013 Providence Cyclocross Festival

This weekend’s Providence Cyclocross Festival highlighted how big cross has become. New England has always been a hotspot for this segment of cyclesport, but the festival drew riders, industry insiders and fans from all over the country. An event of this scale is typical for national championships, but the cross season is really only a month old and we are just hitting the big events. It was the third (of six) Verge New England Cyclocross Series races, and anchor of the “Holy Week” of cyclocross.

My first cross race was way back in 1995 and the sport has really grown. Now it is far more popular than road racing, which continues to diminish in popularity. I don’t keep track of the national series, but this race weekend was even big for the pros and elites who travel around the country. The “holy week” kicked off a 10 days ago at the Midnight Ride of Cyclocross. I was at Midnight and had a good race. The course was dry and technical. I did the 3/4 race and watched a bit of the women’s race before heading back to Boston.

Holy Week continued with the Grand Prix of Gloucester, which I’ve done before, but skipped this year in favor of the Vermont 50. Then I raced the ultimate Wednesday night cross, The Night Weasels Cometh. I raced with the big boys at the 8:30 P.M. start under the lights and had a blast. The week culminated with three days of racing in Providence. I only had time to go yesterday. I raced the 35+ 1/2/3 race with 100 of my closest cross racing friends. The festival was huge with an expo, food vendors, kids rides, a beer garden, and of course…loads of racing.

It was a hectic week, but I still made it after doing soccer with the family early in the morning. I drove over to Roger Williams Park on my own and met up with teammate Arthur Roti. We had an OK race, though both of us are waiting for the leaves to fall and the weather to get cooler. This race was more like a criterium and was loaded with “big hitters,” as Art calls the fast riders. It was fitting that he and I had our own battle while riding our Seven’s. We had a good race within the race and he ended up outsprinting me at the finish. I wasn’t able to make the Sunday race because of our NipMuck Trail Marathon commitment. That’s OK, I needed a breather after five races in 10 days. Mansfield Hollow is up next!

Race Results


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