Source: Spy Optic
CARLSBAD, Calif.—The 2011/2012 Southern California Cyclocross (SoCalCross) season, Sept, 18, 2011 through Jan. 22, 2012, promises to be action-packed from start to finish, combining the popular regional Prestige Series calendar—this year Presenting Sponsored by SPY Optic—with international UCI events throughout Southern California from San Diego to San Luis Obispo.
"With the rapid growth of cyclocross nationally and, especially so in our region, we've enhanced our events this season to reflect the increased caliber of racers flocking to our events and to create a really fun experience for the broader cross-section of people and their families who have been attracted to the sport," says Dorothy Wong, SoCalCross executive director. "Key to our raising the bar this year is SPY® coming on board as Presenting Sponsor. They are a hands-on partner that makes incredible technical eyewear for cycling and has a real passion for 'cross racing; and, as Southern California lifestyle brand, they definitely know how to bring the party in a big way wherever they go. With SPY, everyone can expect a perfect storm of good people, serious racing and not-so-serious shenanigans."
The Prestige Series was formed in 2006 by an association of cycling clubs passionate and eager to grow the sport of cyclocross in Southern California and motivated to become a nationally-recognized series. The two-year agreement with SPY provides SoCalCross resources sufficient to triple its schedule to 22 separate events in the 2011/2012 season. Series champions will be crowned at the end of the season, Jan. 21, 2012, as part of a two-day weekend of racing in Bakersfield, Calif., with Sunday slated for an inaugural "California Cyclocross" (CACX) headliner—a Nor Cal v. So Cal showdown to determine the best racers in the State held against a backdrop of good-spirited rivalry and celebration.
"The SPY crew is excited for this relationship with Dorothy and SoCalCross," says Michael Marckx, SPY Optic president. "As a diehard racer of the Prestige Series, I've enjoyed the events immensely over the years along with my 9-year-old son, which makes this so exciting, personally and professionally. In terms of the business for SPY, cyclocross is the hardest, most irreverent and most community-based facet of bicycle racing and it's a perfect way to tell SPY's Performance eyewear story—a category we just re-launched—complementing what we're doing with our road racing and MTB initiatives. Plus, it supports our whole So Cal brand promise in a very cool way."
SoCalCross will ease into the season on Sept. 18 with "Tour de Arroyo II," a showcase of the California Cycle-ways route from Pasadena to Downtown Los Angeles. The Prestige Series Presented by SPY Optic breaks ground this day, as well, with the "DTLA Historic CX," a cyclo-fest at Los Angeles Historic State Park, a course uniquely positioned against a backdrop of Downtown Los Angeles.
Concurrent with its Prestige Series efforts, SoCalCross is also producing Gold Crown Events Presented by Shimano. These marquee events include top-level international UCI races, including the Spooky Cross Weekend in Irvine, Oct. 15 and Oct.16, which is also part of the UCI Night Race Series/Cross After Dark. Thereafter, "Cyclocross Los Angeles" (CXLA) will usher-in top-level cyclocross action and a festival at the heart of Los Angeles, Dec. 3 and Dec. 4. Shimano Gold Crown events will boast more than bike racing and will feature eco-sport-healthy-living festivals.
GO GREEN: In its commitment to GO Green, SoCalCross will strive to lead the way for environmental responsibility. All Prestige Series Presented by SPY Optic events will practice greenness with "the 3 R's": Reduce (trash), Reuse, Recycle. SoCalCross will help minimize waste/consumption by offering water at events from coolers and reuse as many course materials as possible from event to event. SoCalCross will use solar-powered generators and will additionally use eco-friendly commemorative, branded prize bags.
COMMUNITY: Reaching-out to the community is a stated mission of SoCalCross. Each week of the Prestige Series Presented by SPY Optic brings with it renewed commitment to causes supporting social welfare and health promoted in entertaining ways through the goings-on SoCalCross's constituency. As one example, with the support of Southern California Nevada Cycling and local youth organizations, SoCalCross will work with city youth programs to promote health and fitness among families with a focus on youth and women. Eco-Sport-festivals are in-store through the busy season, as well, and will include activities for all—yoga, Pilates, running, massage, pump tracks and action sport zones for bikes and skateboarding—all aimed at benefiting local and regional philanthropies. To promote development of young talent and family interest in cyclocross, Licensed Juniors, age 10-18, can race free-of-charge at all USA Cycling-sanctioned events produced by SoCalCross. "SoCalCross FREE Kids Race" will be a featured event of the day and kids get to race on a dedicated kids 'cross course. Bicycling education will be a major focus throughout this series.
SELECTED SOCALCROSS HIGHLIGHTS: The Prestige Series Presented by SPY Optic heads north from Los Angeles, Sept. 25, to Camarillo Pacifica Crossfest in Camarillo, Calif., and will in part support youth through M4Kcycling and Casa Pacifica. After a 1 –week break, the Series heads to Vail Lake in Temecula, Oct. 7 to Oct. 9, for a weekend designed for families and cycling-centric fun. On tap are Super D Mountain Biking; Single Speed Mania; and Women Ride 4 M2M—a worldwide ride for women in Afghanistan; Movie Night; and SPY Prestige Series race, No. 3, dubbed "Krosstoberfest."
The Series then winds back to Orange County and Irvine, Calif., for UCI Spooky Cross, Oct. 15 and Oct. 16, supporting the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Next-up, it's back north, Oct. 22 and Oct. 23, to Wine Country, with Los Olivos and San Luis Obispo CX racing. Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 have San Diego coming alive with "SPYclo-Cross" at San Dieguito River Park and Adams Avenue at Balboa Park. Nov. 5 and Nov. 6 is "LIVE Long Beach bicycle festival: Fixie Fest, The Water Ride," benefiting youth and the environment, and "El Dorado Park CX" & eco-fest.
Nov. 13 swings the Series to Prado Dam in Chino, Calif., and Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 finds Cambria and Ventura as the destination weekend for some of the best CX locations of the season. Nov. 27 is the 8th year of "Turkey Trot Cross" in Glendale, Calif., one of the most popular holiday-themed races of the season. Dec. 2 through Dec. 4 is "CXLA," which includes a gala for women and the Breast Cancer Fund, and a UCI party, as well as two days of racing and eco-sport festivities in the City of Angeles. Dec. 11 heads the Series to Bakersfield, a preview of the finale weekend, and Dec. 18 is the pre-holiday celebratory "Santa Cross" in Los Angeles.
Dec. 31 kicks-off 2012 with a warm-up race for those heading to the USAC National Championships in Wisconsin. Jan. 7 has San Diego hosting racing action, and Jan. 15 heralds hope for snow in time for the "High Desert Cyclocross," the featured event in Palmdale. Heading into the home stretch for the Prestige Series Presented by SPY Optic, it's off to Bakersfield for the finale, Jan. 21, with awards, partying, and a Jan. 22 North-meets-South showdown with bragging rights on the line.
Complete series info at: www.SoCalCross.org