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Cyclo-cross racers descend on Badger Prairie Park for final year | Community Spirit

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Cyclo-cross racers descend on Badger Prairie Park for final year
Cyclo-cross racers descend on Badger Prairie Park for final year

Organizer: ‘It’s a heck of a lot of fun’    

The USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships returned to Verona for a second and final year in the city on Wednesday.

Hundreds of cyclists have gathered to compete in the five-day national competition in Badger Prairie Park, which begins each morning through Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

Jamie Patrick from Madison Area Sports Commission described the sport as cross-country running meets bicycling.

“You’re on a 2-mile loop racing around a track,” Patrick said. “You’re going up and down on hills, you’re shouldering your bike running up the stairs.

“It’s a heck of a lot of fun.”

Cyclo-cross racers compete on courses containing various obstacles that require the biker to hop off the bike and trek it up a steep slope or over a man-made obstacle like stairs. By the finish of the 30- to 40-minute physically enduring races, many competitors and their bikes are mud-speckled.

The championship was held in Verona last year after the Madison Area Sports Commission won a bid to host it. After this year’s races, the championship will move on to another venue in the United States as it moves every two years.

Spectators are invited to cheer on the competitors from designated areas lining the course or from the Verona Public Library, which offers a good view of the race from a warm building.

Cycle-cross-related events are planned in tandem with the championships that take place at various places in the Madison area.

The Verona library is offering special hours during the championship event; the library will be open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

USA Cycling said it plans to live stream the elite races held Sunday on its YouTube channel beginning at p.m.

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