Three Days for The Cup
1 October 2015
This season’s Bike Monkey Santa Rosa Cup CX is a three-day event and begins with a night race on Friday, 13 November. Racing starts at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds with reverse courses for Friday and Saturday. A mere 5 miles away, entrants can then close out their battles to earn “The Cup” with the return of Spring Lake Regional Park, on the Sunday.
Overall winners of the series receive cash payouts that are equal for both genders. More race entries equate to higher prize monies. Registration also governs how well the organizers can meet their gender-equity goal. Competing in the same category for all three races is a requirement to qualify for an overall prize. “Our goal is to get as many people there for all three races,” said CX Nation’s Brian Staby.
Staby and Carlos Perez toiled hard over the past years to develop the Santa Rosa series and attract racers from other locales. A three-day event is a novelty for NorCal Nevada but racing cyclocross into the evening is becoming popular; on top of the annual Lou Night Race and Sierra Point Night Race, the Sacramento Cyclocross Series put a night race into their calendar for this year. Add the variety of two different venues for the SRCup, and the regional attractions of Sonoma County, then event organizers may well be at the beginning of something tremendous for the region. And all this just 70 minutes from San Francisco.
Staby said “Carlos and I, at the end of every year, review things and ask ourselves how can we do better? How can we improve? Our main thing is we want to get more people up here. How could we do it where we save ourselves a little bit of time and knock it out in one weekend?
“Since I’ve been traveling and racing around the country, I’ve gone to two good events. Most notably Jingle Cross in Iowa last year where it was a three-day event. They’re doing the same thing we hope to do. They had a night race on Friday. Saturday and Sunday were just regular schedules. I floated that idea by Carlos and he was excited by it.
“Also, we’ve been working on the Sonoma County Fairgrounds to run an event for at least a couple of years. This year we went back to them and they were excited as we were. We picked a date and ironed everything out. [Then] I found out the ranger who runs the Maxwell Park [a venue from last season] was now running Spring Lake too. He has a Le Mans cyclocross bike he rides quite frequently and that helps out if you have an advocate.”
Despite their early goal of controlling the workload to set up courses and hold races, the new format for The Cup will become an intense effort. Bike Monkey will provide extra resources to make everything work smoothly.
In an effort to grow cyclocross with new racers, as opposed to just new races, Staby and CX Nation plan a free clinic for kids on the Friday, around 4pm. “The goal is to introduce more juniors to ‘cross and give the first timers a chance to view the course and learn how to ride on it,” continued Staby. “I am going to hit out on all the high school mountain bike racers. Their races are FREE for every race in the SRCup. Also, the junior races will be scheduled in the late morning, so parents have time to get the kids up in the morning and are not rushed. That was a recommendation from a few parents last year and now we are accommodating.”
More and detailed information, including links to camping sites and hotels, is available at the event’s webpage.