Late summer is transition time in cycling circles, as the road
season wraps up, mountain biking picks up, and cyclocross gears up.
For road riders, the New England finale on the National Racing Calendar, the five-day Killington Stage Race in Vermont, begins Thursday. National road racing champion George Hincapie of the U.S. Postal Service team, currently No. 2 in the national points standings, will be gunning for the season championship. The No. 1 points holder, Julian Dean, will not race at Killington.
Last year's winner of the US Pro points series, Frank McCormack (Saturn) of Leicester, is third in the standings now. He won the Killington race in 1995.
Hincapie will be joined by two teammates who rode in the Tour de France with him this summer, Tyler Hamilton and Marty Jemison, as well as climber Anton Villatoro. Hamilton won Killington last year.
Other teams in the race include Mercury, Shaklee and Navigators. Navigators' Mike Engleman, who won the Killington race in 1993 and 1994, and Saturn's Norm Alvis both plan to retire from racing after Killington.
The MetroWest chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association has changed its name to Blackstone Valley NEMBA to reflect more of its riding area. The bikers frequent Douglas State Forest, Callahan State Forest in Marlboro and Framingham, "Vietnam" (the Upper Charles Headwaters conservation area) in Milford and Holliston, and Noanet Woodlands in Dover.
They're planning a trail maintenance day Oct. 3 at Noanet. For details call chapter president Jeff Gallo (508-877-2028) or vice president Andy Thompson (508-651-7075).
The cyclocross national championships return to the East this year, with competition Dec. 18 and 19 in Massachusetts. The venue is not finalized but most likely will be Devens, said technical director Tom Stevens.
The nationals will be followed by the national Super Cup series finals Dec. 20 on a different course at the same site.
Riders can get in shape for the national events during the six-race New England Championship Series, which begins Oct. 4 in Rockland and includes a race Oct. 24 at Devens.
For more information on cyclocross, call Stevens (978-371-2791).
TIP OF THE HELMET to Robert Dapice, 21, of Concord, Mass., and Dorrie Martell of Concord, N.H., winners of the Mount Washington Bicycle Hillclimb last weekend. With 38 mph winds and a wind chill of 12 degrees at the summit, no records were broken.
Dapice, a junior at Dartmouth College, finished the 7.6-mile ascent in 59 minutes, 19 seconds. That was about 7 minutes slower than Tyler Hamilton's record time last year. WPI graduate Joseph Bucciaglia of Oxford, Conn., winner in 1993 and 1996, placed second, at 1:00:50.
Martell, who won the women's race in 1:11:56, had finished second last year to record-setter Marilyn Ruseckas of Warren, Vt., and turned the tables this time. Ruseckas was almost four minutes behind.
Tired of unsafe urban streets? A guidebook published this summer by the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston offers neighborhood groups and policy makers information and strategies for making city routes friendlier for bicyclists, pedestrians, and everyone else. "City Routes, City Rights: Building Livable Neighborhoods and Environmental Justice by Fixing Transportation"costs $15 from CLF (617-350-0990, Ext. 128).
Chapters on "Traffic Calming" and "Streets for Walking, Biking and Transit" explain how to redesign streets to serve people, not just cars. And the book contains practical advice on getting politicians and bureaucrats to pay attention.
A Pioneer Valley chapter of MassBike, the statewide advocacy group, is forming. The first meeting will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 1) in Room 102 of Seelye Hall at Smith College, Northampton. For more information contact James Lowenthal (413-586-4088, james+Aphast.umass.edu).
MassBike's annual conference is scheduled for Oct. 17, with the Worcester chapter as host. For details contact MassBike (617-491-RIDE).
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