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New Kid on the Block| Colorado Cross Classic Kicks Off Boulder Cup Weekend

ColoradoCrossClassic_Logo_08Besides Halloween and all the insanity that comes with it, the weekend of October 30 and 31 marks the return of the UCI-sanctioned North American Cyclocross Trophy series to Colorado.

Racing starts Saturday with the Colorado Cross Classic at the classic Boulder Reservoir venue, then heads over to the FlatIron Crossing Mall on Sunday for the Victory Circle Graphix Boulder Cup.

Both races will attract big amateur fields (both are also ACA Colorado Cross Cup points races), plus giant crowds and the biggest CX hitters in North America. Look for Trebon, Parbo, Powers, Johnson, Driscoll, Craig, Kabush, Anthony, Compton, Gould and Boulder’s own Amy Dombroski all battling for the biggie sized winner’s checks – and key UCI points.

While we know all those names, the newcomer to the party is the Colorado Cross Classic and its race director Tim Shea. Turns out that back in the 1990s, Shea was a honch on the Colorado amateur road race circuit. He even won the Cat. 3 state champs title in 1997. But Shea subsequently hung up the race bike for 10 years to focus on his tax advisory business.

Last year, Shea finally decided it was time to start pinning on numbers again, and started showing up at the weekend ’cross duels. The skills were intact and he won a few cat. 4/35+ races before moving up to cat. 3. This year he’s a top 10 threat in the 45+ category.

With all this re-emergence back into the cycling scene and getting a taste of the races and courses that are staples to Colorado racing, he decided to try his hand at race promotion this year. Highlights of his new race include lots of family-friendly activities, and a big title sponsorship deal with security software manufacturer, Webroot.

All by itself the Webroot partnership is huge. It’s not often that big companies from outside the cycling industry jump into the CX fray. Shea told me that the Boulder-based company has stepped up in a major way, making the deal one of the biggest single-event, non-endemic sponsorship agreements in the history of U.S. cyclocross.

Tim Shea pointing out the fine points of Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park…another organization he has dedicated his time to.

Besides cutting a sponsor check, Webroot has provided every CCC competitor a racer bag, water bottle and cowbell. And come Saturday, Webroot will be prominent at the expo, showing off their goods and doing special giveaways. On top of that anyone who ends up on the Colorado Cross Classic podium will take home some free software.

I was able to catch up with Tim to find out what else he’s got planned for Oct. 30 at the Rez. I’d been out with Pete Webber to review the course design for the day…and interesting new twist on an old venue. But I wanted to hear from Tim all the background on setting up this new event.

M&C: So why the interest in putting on a bike race?

Tim Shea: It’s something I wanted to do for a long time. A couple a years ago, I sold my business. Now it’s a new chapter. I got back into cycling and got into cyclocross. When I heard that the Saturday race was available, I figured I should go for it.

M&C: What do you have in store for the Colorado Cross Classic?

Tim Shea: Number one I want to say that I’m very impressed with the Colorado ’cross scene. But from the beginning I felt there was a chance to raise the bar because this is a national series event.

M&C: Tell us about your course and the designer?

Tim Shea: I hired the best guy around, Pete Webber. He’s Colorado State cyclocross champ from 2009 and has been an Elite Racer for nearly 16 years having represented the US at Worlds in the 90’s and has seen his share of courses. Pete’s pedigree is being a master trail builder for IMBA as well…participating in the development of 100’s of trail systems. He has assembled a great course at the Reservoir. There’s high speeds, lots of twists, of course some sand, all the things that makes a well-balanced course.

M&C: What should racers expect?

Tim Shea: First off, it’s going to be a professionally run event. That means saftey first for racers and spectators, efficient organization and registration, great prizes, family activities and of course a great atmosphere. We’re also going to have a racers tent. This will be a place where racers can get a pre- or post-race drink or snack. Peak Sports Chiropractic will be there doing massage. We want to give people a taste of what it feels like to be a pro. Plus everyone who signs up is also going to get a cowbell, a water bottle and a race bag. That all comes from Webroot, who has really gotten behind this event. 71727_142388612474382_137042689675641_229045_6287670_n

The Webroot racer booty.

M&C: How about activities for families and kids?

Tim Shea: We’ll have all kinds of stuff going on. Big expo, beer garden, food vendors, jumpy castle, face painter, a kids bike course, a fire engine. It’ll be a lot of fun for the little ones.

M&C: And there’s also running race on the schedule. What’s that all about?

Tim Shea: Yep, we’re doing what I think is a first-of-its kind event, where people will actually run the cross course. It’s a way to bring in another demographic, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Boulder County Volunteer Firefighters who lost their homes in the Four-Mile Canyon disaster.

We’ll also be running a raffle to benefit the Boulder Junior Cycling Club. The grand prize is a cruiser bike that’s being provided by the Pedal to Properties real estate company. All proceeds from that will.

To see photos and video of the Colorado Cross Classic course, check out:

You’ll find all the schedule and registration information here:

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