This weekend’s U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Stanley Portland Cup, at Portland International Raceway, is our last chance to get out there and watch some of the best cyclocross racers in North America compete. Plus, our sources say it’s not supposed to rain this weekend (if it does, apologies in advance for the jinx).
For the uninitiated, cyclocross is a combination of road racing and mountain bike racing where riders race on mostly dirt—mud in Portland—and must carry their bikes over tricky obstacles that can’t efficiently be ridden over (more basically: imagine Kevin Costner in American Flyer battling a landslide, and you’ve got it). And in case you haven’t noticed, Portland has taken to ‘cross like it has done with other big-in-Europe sports like soccer and beer, with many of the sport’s top domestic riders calling the Rose City home.
Last year’s event saw Portland put its own stamp on this final stop of the Gran Prix series. The spectator-friendly nature of PIR’s closed course and the availability of waffles and other fine food, microbrew from Hopworks and flowing hot java make the outing enticing whether you’re thinking about clipping into the pedals yourself someday, or just want to get out of the house and see what all the fuss is about.
Here’s some highlights from the 2009’s race.