- New road race added to calendar
- State championship crit moved to February
- Still no TTT state championship
- Membership numbers up
A new road race and an early state championship crit highlight the docket of races on the 2018 Arizona Bicycle Racing Association calendar.
ASU Cycling will host the new Picacho Peak road race, and the state championship crit will take place in February.
“What’s great is that we haven’t lost any venues or events and have actually added a new race – and a road race at that,” said ABRA president Joey Iuliano. “I think 2018 is shaping up to be a great season.”
New road race
The Picacho Peak road race, slotted for Jan. 20, will be flat and fast, but wind could play a huge factor, said ASU Cycling’s race director, Alissa Albrecht.
The race will be combined with the Sun Devil Crit on the same weekend, which was moved up from a February time slot due to the popular Broadway musical Hamilton coming to Gammage Auditorium, which is in the center of the course.
Nevertheless, Albrecht said the addition of the road race makes the date change worth it.
“ASU Cycling has had a goal of hosting a full omnium weekend for several years and we’re excited to make it a reality,” she said.
State championship crit
Riders looking to peak for a state championship crit victory in late spring may have to take another look at their training schedule – next year’s state championship crit will be in February.
Situated almost exactly in the middle of the season, the race for category riders will take place on Feb. 24, and for the second year in a row, Yuma’s North End Classic course will serve as the battleground.
Iuliano said the race was moved to an earlier date to avoid overlapping with California’s San Dimas stage race, and this date worked best for the City of Yuma. The two-race weekend last year suffered lower turnout due to San Diego teams opting to attend their home-state race.
“I am looking forward to the race,” said Wouter Zwart (Landis/Trek), who won the Men’s Cat 1 state championship crit this year. “It is one of my favorite courses, and hopefully I will have some good fitness because it will be right after Valley of the Sun. Also, because it is earlier in the year, I hope that it will attract more racers.”
Is the TTT championship dead?
For the second year in a row, a team time trial state championship will be missing from the schedule.
Iuliano said it’s a simpler event to host, but in years past it has been hard for the promoter to break even. ABRA is looking for promoters who might be interested in taking over the race. To find out more, contact ABRA.
According to ABRA data, USA Cycling memberships in Arizona are up by 71 riders in comparison to a shortfall of about 85 in 2016.
Compared to the rest of the nation, Iuliano said this was a big win for the state.
“It’s good because it means there is an increase in interest in cyclocross, track or road cycling,” Iuliano said. “Hopefully this will translate to higher race participation numbers in 2018.”