Applecross to kick off Super 8 for second straight year

By Brad Fauber

The Super 8 Cyclocross Series is once again returning to Winchester’s Jim Barnett Park, and for the second year in a row the Applecross CX will serve as the series’ opening event.

Winchester resident Jon Hicks, who founded the Winchester race in 2009, has returned as race director for the first time since that inaugural season and has been busy making sure the sixth edition of the Applecross CX, which will be held Sunday, is a memorable one for all involved.

“For any series, it’s always a big event to be the first and get things rolling,” Hicks said earlier this week. “It kind of sets the tone for the rest of the series, so we go above and beyond. We’ve looked at it as making sure that our participants have a fantastic day and a memorable experience.”

The Super 8 is a series of cyclocross races that take place in venues in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. The series is governed by the Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association (MABRA) and includes some of the top mixed-surface tracks in the region. Cyclocross racing blends aspects of traditional road racing and mountain bike racing.

The Applecross CX officially became part of the Super 8 series in 2011.

Hicks said the Winchester event will remain similar to year’s past, though with some slight variations.

“We always try to make some changes to the course somewhat just to keep it interesting so that it’s not the exact same thing,” Hicks said.

The main race of the Applecross CX, the Men’s Elite race, is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and is open to registered racers holding a Category 3 to Category 1 ranking. But the event also caters to beginners, and will include Masters-level races as well as two children’s race. Races will be held throughout the day beginning at 8:15 a.m., Hicks said.

Registration is required to compete in the event, Hicks said, and interested participants who missed the online pre-registration period can still sign up Sunday morning. Hicks said all competitors must be licensed with USA Cycling, and one-day licenses will be available for purchase at registration.

The Applecross CX has grown steadily in popularity since its inception in 2009, and Hicks said he expects more than 500 registered racers at this year’s event, with “99 percent” of those competitors coming from out of town.

“We’ve already gotten pre-registrations in excess of what we ended in total registrations after the race was complete [last year],” Hicks said.

In addition to the racers, Hicks said this year’s Applecross CX could draw anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 people to the Winchester area.

“It’s a fantastic sport to watch because the course is not like a road cycling event where the racers come by and then they’re gone,” Hicks said. “These are timed races where they normally do five or six laps and a large portion of the entire course can be viewed from one section.”

Hicks said the children’s races, which are generally open to kids 8 years old and younger, will be held at 9 a.m. and noon on Sunday. Participation in the children’s race is free, although Hicks said registration is required.

“They can have any kind of bike that they want to bring. Absolutely anything,” Hicks said. “If it’s got wheels, bring it and ride it around the course. We’ve got a separate course just for the kids, and we’ve got medals for everyone.”

All proceeds from the Applecross CX will go to the Winchester branch of the Literacy Volunteers of America, Hicks said.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or bfauber@nvdaily.com