Wednesday, October 28, 2009

OBRA CX champs a little more than a week away

SALEM -- The OBRA Cyclocross Championships are just over a week away, and the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem is gearing up for the event.

Scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7, the promoters plan a Belgian style cyclocross championships that will make the most of the fairgrounds complex. The championships will be part of the third and final race of the Willamette Valley Cyclocross Series.

There will be four buildings to ride through, along with an indoor Hopworks beer garden adjacent to the course and possibly a live band. There will also be waffles and Belgian style fries for fuel.

OBRA awarded the cross championships to the Salem event for this year and next. This two-year commitment brings the Oregon championships back to the state capitol after an absence of more than a decade. The last championships in Salem were held at Wallace Marine Park more than 10 years ago.

“Salem is the perfect location to hold the championships in Oregon," said Kenji Sugahara, Executive Director of OBRA. "It has a central location and a rapidly growing base of cyclocross enthusiasts. Oregon has a reputation as having the best cyclocross community in the world, and I am excited to bring that to the Cherry City.”

The 2009 championships are expected to attract approximately 800 competitors with an additional 300-400 visitors including staff, spectators and families.

“We at the Oregon State Fairgrounds are thrilled to have a part in the OBRA Cyclocross State Championships,” said Lydia Blackburn, the Sports and Recreation Coordinator for the Oregon State Fair. “This opportunity is a perfect fit in our objectives to open the State Fairgrounds to our bicycle community, and of course it will be a lot of fun.”

Jeff McNamee of Buy Local Cycling and Chad Cherefko of Bicycle Attorney Cycling -- promoters who directed last year’s Heiser Farms cyclocross race -- will serve as race directors for the championships.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Oregon State Fair for the championship" McNamee said. "Our Mountain Bike Short Track series in August was a success thanks in large part to the Oregon State Fair."

The championship event will also mark the fifth race of the seven-race Oregon Junior Cyclocross Series.