Arizona Road Cyclist News
J
ack Quinn, Editor

 © January 20, 2010

Published every other Wednesday and sent out by E-mail free of charge. To modify or cancel your subscription, click here.

For the second time since I started this newsletter, it is going out late. Normally Arizona Road Cyclist News is sent out by E-mail every second Wednesday, but this week I got busy with things that just had to be done.

In the race to get this sent out, I didn't take the time to write general-interest articles. The newsletter is mainly a list of upcoming cycling events, mainly races. There may also be more spelling and grammatical errors that usual, because I also rushed the proofreading process. I hope I didn't let any factual errors slip by, but if I did, I apologize and hope to do better in the next issue.

In the meantime, let's hope that this rain lets up by the weekend so that we can all get our on our bikes. I don't know about you, but I'm getting cabin fever sitting at the keyboard while looking out the window at the rain.  -- Jack Quinn

In this issue:
     Tour Down Under Highlights on Versus
     Tour de Hero Metric Century -- January 23
     Vulture Mine Time Trial -- January 23
     Avondale Criterium -- January 24 and February 21
     UA Criterium -- January 30
     Swiss Criterium Postponed
     Phoenix Midweek Criterium Series, Feb, March, & April
     Tucson Midweek Criterium Series, Mid-Feb & March
     Flapjack Flats 20k Time Trial -- February 6
     Picacho Century -- February 7
     McDowell Mountain Circuit Race -- February 7
     Valley of the Sun Stage Race -- February 12 to 14
     Other February Races
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

Tour Down Under Highlights on Versus

The premium cable and satellite channel Versus is broadcasting a half hour show of the day's highlights of Australia's Tour Down Under professional bike race each afternoon from 4:00 to 4:30 Arizona time through Sunday. This is the maiden race for Lance Armstrong's new Radio Shack team. Lance seems to be riding well, although this is primarily a sprinter's event, and Lance shouldn't be expected to place well against the boys whose specialty is cranking up the speed to 40 miles per hour in the last 100 meters of the race.

Versus is available on Cox and Dish Network but not on DirectTV.

Tour de Hero Metric Century -- January 23

United Blood Services is promoting the Spanglish-entitled Tour de Hero on January 23 with the goal increasing blood donations. This is a metric century ride (100 kilometers or 62 miles) that visits five blood donor centers. The ride starts at the Black Canyon center at I-17 and Bethany Home and proceeds to the following donor centers: Glendale at 59th Avenue and Union Hills, Paradise Valley at Bell and 32nd Street, Airpark at Hayden and 83rd Place, and Commerce at Hayden and McDowell before returning to the starting point. Organizers say that the route is on bike paths, bike lanes, and bike-friendly streets.

The registration cost is $20. Parking for the event is at the Big Lots complex at 2230 West Bethany Home Road. Check-in opens at 8 a.m., and the ride starts at 8:30. After the ride, pizza will be served from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Riders who registered by January 15 will receive a free T-shirt. In addition, for every blood donor that a rider referred between January 2 and January 22, the rider will receive a raffle ticket for a drawing for a "Find the Hero in You" jersey or a pair of lower-level tickets to the Suns versus LA Lakers game on March 12. However, it is not necessary to refer a donor to join the ride.

To access the ride's Website, which contains a wealth of information about the event, click here.

Vulture Mine Time Trial -- January 23

The racing season starts early in Arizona. This year four races are scheduled in January. This year's season begins in my favorite traffic-ticket trap, Wickenburg, Arizona where the Vulture Mine Time Trial will be held on January 23.  The race gets its name from the fact that it is held on the Vulture Mine road. Riders have a choice of either a 20- or a 40-kilometer course. The course is described as rolling.

Registration is $23 for adult riders and $3 for juniors. Registration is online through bikereg.com. The winner of each category with at least five riders receives a $25 prize, just enough to cover the entry fee and buy a coke. Check-in is in the Wickenburg High School parking lot, 1090 South Vulture Mine Road in Wickenburg.

The Vulture Mine Time Trial Web page can be viewed by clicking here, and the race flyer in PDF format can be viewed and downloaded by clicking here.

Avondale Criterium -- January 24 and February 21

Procon is also promoting the Avondale Criterium, or more precisely, criteriums as there will be two races on two different dates. The first race will be held on January 24 and the second on February 21 on a course in the area near the junction of South Avondale Boulevard and Coldwater Springs Boulevard in Avondale. The course is clockwise with three turns and one long semicircular loop. Entry fees vary from $25 to $35 for adults and $3 for juniors. There is a $10 late fee. There is also a $5 unattached fee for riders who are not members of a USA Cycling registered racing team.

To view the race's Web page, click here and to view the event flyer in PDF format, click here. The online registration site is located here.

UA Criterium -- January 30

The fourth annual UA Criterium, promoted by the University of Arizona Cycling Club, will be held in Tucson on January 30 in the area of First Street and Warren Avenue. Registration opens at 8 a.m., and the first race begins at 9 a.m. The main event, the men's pro and category 1 and 2 race, will be held from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. Riders who register in advance on sportsbaseonline.com pay $25 for the first race and $15 for the second race. Collegiate racers pay $20, and juniors race for free. To access the race's brochure in PDF format, click here.

Swiss Criterium Postponed

In the last issue of Arizona Road Cyclist News, The Swiss Criterium was listed for January 31. The race has since been pulled from the calendar, and word is that it may be rescheduled in September.

Phoenix Midweek Criterium Series, Feb, March, & April

The popular Phoenix Consumer Cycle Club's midweek criterium series will be held again this spring on Tuesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. in the months of February, March, and April in the parking lot of the Phoenix Municipal Stadium on the southwest corner of Priest (also known as Galvin Parkway) and Van Buren. As usual, we expect that some of the races will have to be rescheduled due to conflicting events, but the only exception we know about now is that the March 9 races will be rescheduled for Thursday evening, March 11. Other changes, if they occur, will be posted to the Arizona Cycling forum event update page at www.azcycling.com/forum.

This series is designed as a practice and fun race event for everyone with a desire to race criteriums, from beginners to experienced racers. There are for events each evening, a 15-minute D race at 5 p.m., a 20-minute C race at 5:20 p.m., a 30-minute B race at 5:45 p.m., and a 45 to 50 minute A race beginning at 6:15 p.m.

The D race is designed for beginners and juniors and includes category 5 men, inexperienced category 4 men, and category 4 women. The entry fee for this race is only $5, and although there is no prize for wining, we usually arrange a sprint or two during the race, called a prime, for a bag of cookies or donated prize.

The C race is for more experienced category 4 and 5 riders, the B race is for categories 3, 4, and 5, and the A race is for category 1, 2, 3, and 4 riders. These races usually have prizes for the first three finishers as well as sprint primes during the race. If there are not enough riders to make the A race exciting, the A and B races may be combined and started at 5:55. The entry fee for these races is $10 for adults and $5 for juniors. Adult riders who register for one of these races may enter additional races for $5 each. Juniors get to ride their second race for free.

All racers must have a valid USCF license, but licenses will be available for sale at registration. A one-day license is expected to cost $10, and a yearly license $60.

This is an exciting event, not only for the racers, but for the spectators. Because the race is held on a closed course with good visibility, spectators can follow the race all around the course, and the racers pass before the spectators every few minutes. For those spectators who are not familiar with the very tactical nature of criterium racing, I expect to be there as race announcer to call the action.

To view the race series brochure in PDF format, click here.

Tucson Midweek Criterium Series, Mid-Feb & March

Tucson will also hold a midweek criterium series on Wednesday evenings from February 17 through March 24, promoted by Team Tolero. There will be three races nightly, a 20-minute C race for category 4 and 5 riders at 5:45 p.m., a 30-minute B race for category 3, 4, and 5 riders at 6:20 p.m., and a 45-minute A race for category 1, 2, and 3 riders at 7:05 p.m. Riders must preregister online at BikeReg.com at a cost of $10 for the first race and $5 for the second race. Registration closes two days prior to each race. The race will be held on a go-cart course with lots of turns. To go to the race's Web page, first click here, and then click on "EVENTS."

Flapjack Flats 20k Time Trial -- February 6

Tucson racing team Summit Velo presents the Flapjack 20-kilometer time trial on February 6 on Park Link Drive, between I-10 and AZ 79. The start and finish line will be approximately five miles east of I-10. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. with the first rider off at 9 a.m. Preregistration will be held on February 5 in Tucson at a location yet to be announced. Riders can also mail in a registration form in advance in order to get an earlier start time.

Women and men will be scored according to category, with category 1 and 2 riders scored together. There will also be age-based scoring for both men and women in five year increments from 35+ to 60+ (why no 65+ and 70+ categories?). Juniors will be scored by gender in two-year age groups from 10 through 18 years of age. There will also be a tandem class and a Merckz open category for those who race on ordinary bicycles with no fancy aero bikes or gear. To access the race's brochure in PDF format, click here.

Picacho Century -- February 7

The Greater Arizona Bicycle Association (GABA) will promote the Picacho Century on February 7. This is a mostly flat century that starts at Cortaro and Silverbell in Tucson and heads north through Avra Valley to Marana and Picacho. There are four distance options, a 100-mile century, a 65-mile metric plus century, a 35 mile ride and a 15 miler. The cost of the ride is $40 with $15 discount to GABA and Arizona Bicycle Club members. Add $10 for day-of-the-event registration. The entry fee includes sag stops and apparently chow, as there is a box on the entry form to check off for a vegetarian meal. To access the ride's Website, click here.

McDowell Mountain Park Circuit Race -- February 7

Team RPM will promote the McDowell Mountain Regional Park Circuit Race on February 7 in McDowell Mountain Regional Park on a 1.6-mile closed loop, described as an oval course with two hard turns and rolling terrain. The race has a total prize list of $4,000 and includes age-based categories in 10-year increments for men beginning at 30+ through 70+. There are no age-based categories for masters women, junior women and junior men.

Juniors race for free. All other categories pay $30 for the first race and $10 for each additional race. There is also a $5 late fee after January 31, and unattached riders, meaning those who are not members of a racing club, pay an extra $5. There is also a fee for entering the park. For more information, click here.

Valley of the Sun Stage Race -- February 12 to 14

The Valley of the Sun Stage Race is put on each year by the White Mountain Road Club and held in memory of my late friend and fellow racer John Early. This is one of Arizona's premier cycling races and attracts riders from throughout the Southwest and from Mexico.

There are three stages to this race: a time trial held in the West Valley at Sun Valley Parkway near I-10 exit 109 on Friday, February 12, a circuit race held south of Phoenix near I-10 exit 185 on Saturday, February 13, and a criterium held at the State Capitol Complex in West Phoenix on Sunday February 14. The prize list includes $10,000 in cash plus primes.

The entry fee is $40 for junior riders who will be 18 years old or younger at the end of 2010, $80 for category 4 and 5 riders and masters 35 years of age and older, $85 for category 3 riders, and $90 for professional and category 1 and 2 riders. The fee structure applies to both men and women. There will also be a kids' bike rodeo put on in conjunction with the Phoenix Police Department. As of this writing, I was unable to find any information on how long the various races for each category of riders will be except that the time trial is 14.2 miles.

To access the event's Website, click here. You can also read a short biography of John Early by clicking here.

Other February Races

The Arizona State University Bicycle Club will promote the Sun Devil Criterium on February 20. As this was written, I was unable to find any details of the race online. I hope to have more information in the next edition of Arizona Road Cycling News.

The Yuma Bike Club presents the Doug Flynn Memorial Classic on February 27 and 28 in and near Yuma. Readers of Arizona Road Cyclist News may remember that Dough Flynn was a Yuma cyclist and president of the Yuma Bike Club who was killed in a head-on collision with a passenger car south of Yuma last September. Saturday's race is a criterium in downtown Yuma, and Sunday's race is a circuit race on a 2.5-mile course across the Colorado River in California. There will be more details on this weekend of racing in the next newsletter. In the meantime, you can browse the race's brochure by clicking here.

About Arizona Road Cyclist News

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Arizona Road Cyclist News,  http://www.azroadcyclist.com
Jack Quinn, Editor