Sunday saw the final race of the 2011 NEOCX Series at Kirtland Park with some great competition, camaraderie and the Umami and Touch food trucks along with the Series wrap-up party and awards presentation at the Sokol Center.
As with most unscripted MC-ing jobs, I’m not sure everyone who needed to be mentioned at the awards ceremony was properly credited. So I’m going to write it all down for you to read.
First, NEOCX would like to once again thank Raleigh Bicycles and our regional sales rep, Sean Burkey, for their financial support and for advancing the sport of cyclocross. My words yesterday may not have done justice to the amazing offering and diversity of bicycles available from Raleigh in 2012. Entry level to expert – aluminum, sweet steel and carbon – Raleigh has road, mountain, commuter, family and (most importantly!) cyclocross bikes in their catalog to fit every budget. Check them out online and visit one of the fine local Northeast Ohio dealers to test ride a Raleigh and discover for yourself why all the critics are raving about the new Raleigh product line.
Thanks to our other cash sponsor – WAS Labs – for their continued support of NEOCX. Not only did they field a very competitive new team in 2011, they have continued their support of cycling in many ways. We look forward to WAS Labs’ participation in 2012 with the addition of another race!
Fast Track Cycling also needs to be thanked for arranging for the use of the Sokol Center, their promotion of the two Chagrin River CX races, the track bike raffle (in conjunction with Spin bike shop) and their great effort at bringing velodrome racing to Northeast Ohio. As a former trackie, I’m looking forward to the arrival of our own ‘drome!
A last minute surprise in the awards was the addition of cash money from Team Lake Effect for the “oh so close” awards given to the most consistent racers who raced all (or almost all) the NEOCX Series races but finished just outside the money. I know the six racers who received these awards were appreciative of this extremely sporting award!
Not to be forgotten are the teams, clubs and shops who offered the races that made up the 2011 NEOCX series. In addition to the already mentioned Fast Track Cycling and Team Lake Effect who both promoted two races, SnakeBite Racing and Team Spin also offered two races.
These promoters along with Stark Velo, Orrville Cycling / SoupCan Racing, Blue Sky Bicycles and Chagrin River Cycling (CRC) deserve our thanks for bringing out a committed group of volunteers and team members to arrange venues, permit, set up, tear down and run the races that make up the series.
I’d also like to give special thanks to our officials during the 2011 season. Without them our events wouldn’t be “legitimate” in the eyes of USAC. So thanks Lynn, Ron, Matt and Linda for keeping us honest…
A personal and communal note of appreciation goes to my predecessors in organizing a Northeast Ohio CX Series – Rudy Sroka and Julie Lewis-Sroka nurtured the spirit of cyclocross in our area for over a decade before I came along in 2010 to pick up where they left off. They continue to be valued colleagues in keeping things on track and inspiring new ideas.
Finally, NEOCX is ultimately possible because so many of you love cyclocross racing! Without the 413 unique racers with a total of 1,387 event registrations (almost 3.4 per rider) who participated in the 2011 NEOCX Series, none of what happened over the last 12 weeks would have been possible.
[Just a note of comparison, in 2010 we had 365 unique racers for 1,203 event registrations, which is 3.3 events per rider. This represents a 12% increase in unique racers and a 15% increase in registrations.]
So a special thanks to the racers and their family and friends that make riding or watching NEOCX races such a great atmosphere and the most competitive region of Ohio in which to race cyclocross!
See you all in 2012!