Professional and amateur bike racing returns to Roanoke as Virginia’s Blue Ridge Go Cross kicks off the national USCX cyclocross race series September 16-17. This fast-paced, spectator-friendly event has thrust Virginia’s Blue Ridge into the national cycling spotlight and caught the attention of New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Ale and one of the fastest-growing craft beer producers in the U.S. New Belgium Brewing recently expanded their manufacturing footprint to include a brewing and packaging facility in Botetourt County, VA. And with this move, Fat Tire has become the presenting sponsor of the Go Cross race series.
Professional, amateur, and junior cyclocross racers will come from across the United States and Europe for Go Cross, which is the first race in the professional cyclocross racing season known as PROCX. Continuing its prestige, Go Cross will again be part of the USCX series—comprising the top four professional races in the United States and live-streamed on Global Cycling Network, Discovery+, and Eurosport.
The addition of Fat Tire comes with a host of festivities for spectators, including an 80s-themed beer relay race, little kid races, food trucks, and music. Entry and parking for the spectator area in Fallon Park is free, and people are encouraged to bring chairs, dress in 80s attire, and enjoy raucous games while getting ready to watch the elite races.
“New Belgium Brewing has long been a supporter of cycling communities, and we’re excited to partner with Roanoke Outside, an organization that has been instrumental in developing the region’s outdoor brand,” says Ian Grzybowski, Senior Brand Activation Manager for Fat Tire. “Your community has built Go Cross into a premier cycling event, and it is an ideal fit for Fat Tire.”
“Most people are not familiar with the term ‘cyclocross’, and that’s okay,” says Pete Eshelman, director of Roanoke Outside. “It’s like NASCAR but on bicycles. Spectators sit in the middle of the non-stop action, as racers ride lap-after-lap on a course that includes sandpits, barriers, ramps, tight turns, and steep climbs.”
Races take place throughout the day, leading up to the professional races which take place each day between 2-5 pm. These races will be live-streamed to an international audience and it is a great opportunity for our community to show their pride on camera.
“We want to give these visiting racers a really great experience and put on a good show. So, bring a chair, grab a beer, cheer, heckle, and have a great time,” says Eshelman.
You can find out more about cyclocross as well as how to race, spectate, and support Go Cross at www.gocrossrace.com.