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Cyclo-cross racing returns to Jackson Park Dec. 9-10

Riders climb a steep bank at Jackson Park. Riders climb a steep bank at Jackson Park.

The North Carolina Cyclo-Cross Series, which returns to Jackson Park Dec. 9-10, is expected to draw professional cyclo-cross racers from around the country in pursuit of UCI ranking points. Among the star riders are North Carolina’s Kerry Werner, ranked third in the USA Cycling Pro CX standings, and Brevard-based Tristian Cowie. Both took wins at the 2016 North Carolina Grand Prix. Hundreds of amateur cyclists will round out the Grand Prix, competing for medals and award money.

The Henderson County Parks and Recreation Department will partner with North Carolina Cyclo-Cross to host the family-friendly and spectator-friendly event on a course taking advantage of the varied terrain features of the site. Racing will start at 8:30 a.m. both days, with the featured UCI Elite Women racing at 1:20 p.m. and the UCI Elite Men racing at 2:30 p.m. There will be a free (8 and under) kids race at 11:40 a.m. Hunter Subaru will have vehicles on display. The event also features the Vendor Zone with Hubba Hubba Smokehouse, Flat Rock Village Bakery, free samples and product displays and demonstrations. The event is free to spectators. Although Jackson Park will remain open for public use, there will be no thru traffic during the event.

Cyclo-cross is a fast-paced, spectator-friendly cycling discipline that combines road and mountain bike aspects, requiring riders to switch terrains and at times dismount and run or carry their bikes. Founded 20 years ago by Henderson County parks and recreation activities director Tim Hopkin, the North Carolina Cyclo-Cross Series consists of 15 races across North Carolina. OrthoCarolina is the 2017-18 series sponsor, with support from DeFeet and Carmichael Training Systems. The Grand Prix is a UCI category II race, making it a valuable points stop for elite racers in pursuit of ranking points. For more information visit or contact Hopkin at (828) 674-9782.