Cross kicks into gear at GPMC#1

Sep 2, 2011 by

Oregon’s booming cyclocross scene has given birth to another series that will keep the dirt-and-mud addicted racing through the final days of summer and well into the winter weather.

The Grand Prix Molly Cameron kicks off Saturday and runs through December. ┬ęPat Malach/FILE PHOTO

Beginning Saturday with the David Douglas Cross Race in Vancouver, the Grand Prix Molly Cameron will combine several new events with a few familiar names on the schedule to create a Saturday race series supplementing the popular Cyclocross Crusade. Each race will have its own individual prize list, and Matt Haughey of MetaFilter has contributed cash for the overall purse. Haughey also chose the series name, which is a local take on a European race named after Belgian cyclocross icon Sven Nys.

“I’m kind of flattered and embarrassed that it’s named the GP Molly Cameron,” the pro cross racer and proprietor of Portland Bicycle Studio said after last weekend’s Kruger’s Kremesse on Sauvie Island.

It was Cameron’s idea last fall to bring many of OBRA’s individual cyclocross races together under one umbrella to form a second season-long series for Oregon. The effort started with an e-mail to promoters of individual races and soon found support among promoters from Portland-area and Willamette Valley races.

“We kind of whittled it down to closer-in races,” Cameron said. “We just kind of made it really simple. It’s the first cross race of the season and the last cross race of the season. Cross doesn’t have to end in the middle of November when the Cross Crusade ends and you see attendance drop. I feel like there are a bunch of people who still love racing cross, and in December people are looking for races to do. MetaFilter threw down a couple grand in cash to split evenly between the men and women. So if you’re pretty serious about your bike racing, and you’re doing the elite races, you can make a little money.”

Each event will offer a full day of racing for the standard OBRA cyclocross categories, with the elite Cat A contests moved to the middle of the day, followed by three more fields of racing.

The nine-race series kicks off the Oregon cyclocross season in earnest on Saturday, Sept. 3 with race #1 at David Douglas Park in Vancouver. The second race of the series follows two weeks later on Sept. 17 in Hood River. The Series travels south down I-5 on Oct. 8 for race #3 at Heiser Farms, and follows up a week later on Oct. 15 with Ninkrossi in Washougal for race #4.

Scenic Vancouver Lake Park will host the inaugural Het Meer CX and GPMC#5 on Oct. 22. The venue offers the chance to throw a long sandy beach section at competitors, something that is standard in may European and East Coast races, but is rarely seen at Oregon events.

The series returns to David Douglas Park in Vancouver on Oct. 29 for race #6. Salem’s Apple Core Cross comes next for race #7 on Nov. 5. Two weeks later on Nov 19, Eugene’s Psycho Cross will host GPMC#7 and will also decide the OBRA CX Championships. Winter Cross, at a venue to be announced later, closes out the series on Dec. 4.

2011 GPMC SCHEDULE
September 3 — GPMC#1, David Douglas #1 (Vancouver)
September 17 — GPMC#2, Hood River Double Cross (Hood River)
October 8 — GPMC#3, Heiser Farms (Salem)
October 15 — GPMC#4, Ninkrossi (Washougal)
October 22 — GPMC#5, Het Meer CX (Vancouver)
October 29 — GPMC#6, David Douglas #2 (Vancouver)
November 5 — GPMC#7, Apple Core Cross (Salem)
November 19 — GPMC#8, Psycho Cross / OBRA Championships (Eugene)
December 4 — GPMC#9, Winter Cross (TBA)

CATEGORIES
Men’s Beginners
Category C, Clydesdale*
Masters Category C 35+
Masters B 35+, Masters 50+, Masters 60+ , Jrs 12+
Kiddie Kross A&B
Category A Men & Women and Masters Category A 35+
Women: Category B, Beginners
Masters 35+ A, B & 45+, Jrs 12+
Category B and Single Speed

*Clydesdale = 200+ pounds

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