Big 'cross weekend coming in Verge MACC series

This weekend sees another double fixture in the Verge Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series, with C2-class races at Camp Hill, near the Pennsylvania Capital of Harrisburg, will be followed by a C2 race in Highland Park on the same course used for last year's US Grand Prix of Cyclocross. Todd Wells won both races last year and is heading East for the first time this year to defend his record.

Wells will be joined by his brother, Troy, a member of the new cyclocross team sponsored by TIAA-CREF financial services. Other favourites include Kona's Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks, who have combined to be the most dominant team in America this year. Trebon will miss Saturday's race to attend his best friend's wedding, but will be at Highland Park looking for revenge after losing last year's duel with Wells.

On the women's side, Defending champion and points leader West Virginian Betsy Schauer of FORT/GPOA! will try to stave off Virginia's Melanie Swartz (Square Coppi/Van Dessel) and Idaho's Georgia Gould (Kona).

Saturday's "Lower Allen Classic" is a benefit for the Lower Allen Community Park where the race is held. In the race's short history, it has already raised $3500 (US) for the park. It is a classic east coast park course, fast with lots of grass and tight technical sections. Sunday's race at riverside course in Highland Park is even faster. With generous use of paved cycle paths in the park, it's normal to see long strings of riders trading pulls. But the course also features two nasty run-ups. Both races are excellent spectator races with heavy local promotion and great visibility. According to Mike Hebe, promoter of the Camp Hill race, "95 to 100% of Camp Hill's track can be seen from a number of locations, plus we have a huge fun-fort and playground for the children. Over at Highland Park, they also have a playground and they've got a great set of run ups set side-by-side, but one is at the beginning of the lap and one is about halfway around."

Both events will include a full program of amateur races including kids races. Saturday's Lower Allen Classic will accommodate beginner ("C" Men & "B" Women) classes for an entry fee of just $10, and 10-16 juniors for just $5, thanks to a grant from the PA Cycling Association. Cadence Cycling Center will present a free Cyclocross clinic, making this event extremely friendly for riders wanting to get started in cyclocross.

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