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Cyclo-cross

A favorite venue for cycling: Bend

    The usually peaceful Old Mill District exploded into a deafening roar as the cyclocross national championships entered the final hours of a four-day run in this central Oregon city Sunday.

    The crowd — estimated at 5,000 — lined up five deep in many sections of the course to glimpse their favorite racers battling for a chance to don the winners’ stars-and-stripes jerseys. Cowbells reached a fever pitch, a drum line pounded out a thundering rhythm, frothy pints poured forth from the beer garden and enthusiastic fans leaned over the red snow fence to encourage racers zipping past only inches away.

    The energy was electric, the mayhem beautiful.

    It was the perfect finale for a year that has seen Bend solidify its position as the preeminent cycling city in the United States. The town also hosted the road national championships in July, making it the first city to host two USA Cycling national championship events in the same year. When news of the double appointment was released in January, prominent cycling publication VeloNews declared Bend “the cycling capital of the United States for the next two years.”

    And with both events now in the books, it’s clear the city exceeded expectations.

    While more than 800 cyclists participated in road nationals, more than 1,800 registered for cyclocross nationals — a record number that is as much a testament to the general growing popularity of the sport as it is to the enthusiasm that Oregon brings to table.

    — Excerpt from OregonLive.com, December 13, 2009

    Watch a video recap of the Cyclo-cross Nationals on KTVZ.com


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