Ontario Cup Series undergoes changes for 2011

Chico Racing and the Ontario Cycling Association (OCA) announced some changes to the Plastiglas Ontario Cup Series for 2011 including a new venue, new race dates and new categories.

The series has shifted one of the most popular venues Albion Hills (previously Ontario Cup # 2) from Mother's Day weekend to June 12. This date change is partially to give Albion's new trails a chance to settle, and for the launch of Mountain Bike Month at Albion Hills - culminating at the end of June with North America's Largest 24-hour race, the Summer Solstice on June 25-26.

"We moved the date for Albion Hills because this will allow us to showcase three brand new singletrack trails at this very popular stop on the O-Cup race calendar," said Chico Racing's Course Designer Sean Ruppel.

The Woodnewton venue, located just outside of Uxbridge. Woodnewton, will take the place of the mid-May date. It was a brand new venue in 2010 and has received a few course updates including a rock garden and a new technical uphill section. A "Learn to Race Clinic" on May 14 is also be run for anyone wanting to update his or her skills or get involved in racing.

The Highlands Nordic, near Collingwood, is another new venue for 2011. This brand new course will test riders in September for Ontario cross country mountain bike championships, and promises a moderately technical trail, with a couple fun climbs.

"For those that have done some riding in the area, a very good description is a combination of Kolapore and Three Stage," said course builder Scott Holmes of HBCC.

In addition to venue updates, the Plastiglas Ontario Cup Series will also undergo a couple category changes. With the exploding youth movement in Ontario, the OCA has lowered the racing age to nine, instead of 10. This means there is a brand new category of mini mountain bikers - the Squirts for ages nine and 10. This shake-up also means Peewee will be for 11 and 12 year olds only.

The youth segment isn't the only category changing things up for 2011, as changes are in store for men 50 plus. For these hardened veterans, there will be a brand new category; the 50-54 Expert men's division.

"This should help spread out riders of varying abilities, and make racing a little more forgiving for less experienced riders in the 50 plus age category," said President of Chico Racing Adam Ruppel.

For more information on the series, visit www.chicoracing.com.

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