Almost 500 cyclocross enthusiasts took part in races on Saturday in Vancouver that began a series of Oregon Bicycle Racing Association fall events.
The David Douglas Cross races were the kickoff event for the Grand Prix Ryan Trebon, a series of six events that run through October and serve as the beginning of the OBRA cyclocross racing season. There are 20 categories of competition based on the ability and age of the riders.
Riders in most categories completed three or five laps on the 1.95-mile circuit. Except for the top-level competitors — who ride for one hour — most races lasted for 45 minutes with the rider in the lead at the end of that time period the winner.
Andrew Coe, 33, of Portland won the Category A race for the fastest riders. In that hour-long race, 17 of the 18 riders completed seven laps.
Brian Hart, Jr., 15, of Washougal won the race for Category B men. Category A is the most competitive. In cyclocross there are also B and C skill categories, and a division for beginners. Karen Goritski, 52, of Camas won the race for women 45 and older.
Cooper Irwin, 16, of Woodland won the race for beginner men, ahead of Nathan Hart of Washougal. Nathan Hart, 12, won the race for boys ages 10-12. McKenna McKee, 11, of Vancouver won for girls ages 10-12.
The course included riding over flat grass, climbing over obstacles, and a dip down the trail to Van Feet Park.
Series organizer David Saltzberg noted that the David Douglas event has about tripled in size over the last two years, reflecting a growth in participation in cyclocross in the region. Much of the increased participation is in the masters divisions for riders 35 and older, particularly for men 50 and older, which on Saturday had 45 participants.
The second race in the Grand Prix Ryan Trebon series takes place this Saturday at Vancouver Lake Park. Racing for the event called Het Meer starts with beginners at 8:40 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. The race for the most skilled riders runs 1:15 to 2:15 p.m.
Four of the six races in this series are in Clark County. On Sept. 20 the series is at Alderbrook Park in Brush Prairie. On Sept. 27, the series is at the Washougal MX Park.
Another OBRA cyclocross race will be held on Oct. 25 at the David Douglas Park course.
To register to race, or learn more about the series, visit cyclocross.gp.
Cyclocross clinic — A clinic focusing on cyclocross skills, bike maintenance and more will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Vancouver Lake Park during Saturday's racing. To register or learn about the clinic, visit www.wenzelcoaching.com.