Holy Week of Cyclo-cross Concludes in Providence
Saturday Webcast Draws Worldwide Audience
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (October 11, 2012) –With the final race of the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival finished and the course material put away until next year, New England’s Holy Week of Cyclo-cross has come to an end. Stop two of the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series, Providence saw Helen Wyman (Kona) defend her series lead and continue her undefeated streak. Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) solidified his lead, taking the victory on Saturday at the Providence International, but falling victim to the elements on Sunday to place fifth. Kaitie Antonneau (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) leads the U23 (under 23) women’s category, reinforcing her lead with her second place finish on Saturday. Antonneau also fell victim to the mud on Sunday, crashing on an off-camber section and breaking her rear derailleur. Antonneau would eventually finish ninth. Zach McDonald leads for the U23 men and handled the muddy conditions on Sunday with aplomb to take his first victory against a stellar, international field.
Richard Fries, promoter of the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival, said, “With racers from twelve countries represented amongst the 1,719 entrants, Providence has cemented its place as a destination for the ‘cross elite. And with thousands views of the cyclingdirt.com live webcast from the Providence International, it’s clear our reach extends far beyond the grounds of Roger Williams Park.”
In addition to the audience captured by the webcast, Providence also made headlines by securing sponsorship from G-Form, a local manufacturer of protective athletic gear, to even out the payment for the women’s podium on Saturday. Olympic mountain biker Lea Davison (Specialized), racing cyclo-cross for only the second time, was integral in brokering the last minute deal.
“We also secured enormous support for our staff from key suppliers,” said Fries. “Promoting ‘cross is hard, dirty work. We dress our team well with Verge and Mountain Khakis apparel. Because of those guys I can go from laying fence in the park to raising funds at the Biltmore.” The Local Touch
Though international in scope, the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival has made a point to work with the local community on several fronts. Key partnerships were established with Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, Johnson and Wales University, The East Coast Greenway Alliance, and the Providence schools.
Most significant, the event staff teamed up with Johnson and Wales University to enlist volunteers establish internships, and even create a directed-study program that uses this event as the classroom and homework.
Additionally the event, through its Friday Builders’ Ball at the Biltmore, raises funds and awareness for the Providence-based East Coast Greenway Alliance, which is steadily forging a continual network of bike paths running from Maine to Florida.
“One of our greatest hits this year was a school visit at the Alan Shaw Feinstein Elementary School,” said Fries, noting Olympian Lea Davison and Danish National Champion Joachim Parbo electrified more than 100 fifth-grade students. “These schools are working really hard without a lot of support. The riders threw open some windows for the minds of these kids, talking about travel, nutrition, training, and a healthy lifestyle.” As a result of that visit, Davison and her sister, Sabra, are working to establish a Providence chapter of their Little Bellas program. The Vermont-based program fosters healthy lifestyles for girls through outdoor activities.
The Providence Cyclo-cross Festival would like to thank its sponsors Whole Foods Market, Pilot Freight Services, Raleigh, Harpoon Brewery, Stan’s NoTubes, MetLife, TDBank, Bicycling Magazine and California Giant Berry Farms, Mountain Khakis, Milton Cat, Verge and Shimano.
The fifth annual Providence Cyclo-cross Festival has been tentatively schedule for Oct. 5 and 6, 2013. Held in Roger Williams Park on a course used for the 2005 and 2006 U.S. National Cyclo-cross Championships, the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival returns as a UCI sanctioned Category 1 event . Organized by Providence Cross Fest LLC, the event is also part of the Shimano New England Cyclocross series. For more information, visit www.providencecrossfest.com
Providence Cyclcocross Festival