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Cycling

Cycling races a boon for Bend

    Tucked along the Deschutes River on the eastern edge of the Cascades, Bend is surrounded by some of the West Coast’s most rugged, breathtaking and adventurous terrain.

    From skiing and boarding on Mount Bachelor (22 miles from downtown), to road cycling, kayaking, mountain biking, fly-fishing, rock climbing and hiking — it’s got a little something for everyone.

    Named “Best Adventure Town” by Men’s Journal in 2005 and one of Outside magazine’s “Best Towns” in 2007, Bend has steadily drawn national attention as a premier adventurer’s playground. And this year, bicycle racing will get its moment to shine in Bend’s high desert sun.

    USA Cycling announced in December that Bend will host the Cyclocross National Championships in 2009 and 2010. The competitive bidding process took 13 months.

    Just a few weeks later, Bend was selected as the site of USA Cycling’s Junior, U23 & Elite Road National Championships for 2009 and 2010 — making it the first city to host two USAC national championship events in the same year.

    The double appointment prompted VeloNews, the veritable bible of pro cycling news, to declare Bend “the cycling capital of the United States for the next two years.”

    National fame aside, the wins also represent a huge economic payoff. At a time when many families and individuals are cutting back on leisure travel spending, group and event travel become even more important to economic vitality. Visit Bend President and CEO Doug LaPlaca describes the bidding process for Cyclocross nationals as “a full community effort.”

    — Excerpt from The Oregonian, April 26, 2009


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