Southern Utah Cyclocross holds ‘Christmas Cross’ race series finale

A cyclocross racer dismounts his bike to navigate a set of obstacles on the course during the Southern Utah Cyclocross series, Santa Clara, Utah, Dec. 6, 2014 | Photo courtesy of GRO Races, St. George News

SANTA CLARA – Cyclists of every age and discipline will gather at Gubler Park in Santa Clara Saturday to participate in the Southern Utah Cyclocross series finale. Dubbed “Christmas Cross” by race organizers, GRO Races, the fourth race in the series, will have a touch of holiday spirit mixed with leg aching, heart pounding and obstacle navigating racing.

The growing sport of cyclocross is a form of bicycle racing that typically takes place during the late fall and winter. Races consist of short laps on mixed surfaces of grass, dirt, asphalt and other terrain mixed with obstacles where riders race for a given amount of time, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on competition level.

Cyclocross, or cross, shares commonalities with mountain biking and criterium racing and many riders will compete in several disciplines. But because of its growing popularity, there are now riders who train solely for cyclocross, and USA Cycling, has its own set of rules and regulations for the genre.

The Southern Utah Cyclocross 2014 series is a four race series. The “Christmas Cross” will be the final race of the season and will determine who wins the series, Race Director Cimarron Chacon said.

“It’s been a fun series,” Chacon said. “We have had quite the competition in the Juniors category between the two high school teams.”

Both the Snow Canyon High School mountain bike team and The Flying Monkeys – a composite team of other high school aged mountain bikers – have been racing in the series, Chacon said.

The opening race of the season was held at Staheli Family Farm in Washington City and the following two races were held at Canyon View Park in Santa Clara. The fourth and final race will be held at Gubler Park in Santa Clara and the course will feature a mixture of grass, pavement and dirt, Chacon said, along with a little rain –weather permitting, of course.

“That is what cross is all about,” Chacon said. “A little wet but not too cold.”

Saturday’s race will bring the holiday spirit with costumed riders and Christmas music blasting throughout the day. Organizers hope to get a lot of people to come out to the race, either to ride, or just to watch and cheer on the racers, Chacon said.

Racers wishing to participate can preregister until the night before the race or register on race day at least one hour before their category’s start time.

Event details

  • What: Southern Utah Cyclocross series finale
  • When: Sat. Dec. 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Where: Gubler Park, 2375 Rachel Drive, Santa Clara
  • Website: www.southernutahcyclocross.com

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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