The Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series returns in eight weeks with a reduced schedule and the return of UCI elite races after a one-year hiatus.
Organizers changed the series format for the 2012 edition, reducing what was a 15-race run to just six rounds held over three race weekends. Organizers claimed in a release this week that the reduction in events was due to “popular demand” and designed to “maximize rider attendance and to determine who the best of the best is in New England in 10 different categories.”
UCI elite races for men and women return to the Verge fold after a UCI-imposed one-year absence. Elite riders missed out on the series in 2011 after the UCI revoked the series’ permit in a controversial move to enforce long-ignored rules regarding registering points series in addition to individual events. That move spelled the end of the North American Cyclocross Trophy series.
Verge Sport, a cycling apparel manufacturer, provides primary support for the series. Other partners include Cycle-Smart, a coaching company for elite and amateur cyclists, and BikeReg.com, a well-known online registration system for cycling events around the country
True to its name, the series will tour Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts. Williston, Vermont, will host rounds one and two as the 14th Annual Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend on a technical course with a lot of elevation change. The series will then visit New Gloucester, Maine, for the Downeast Cyclocross weekend and rounds three and four, which run through the Pineland Farms agricultural area and will favor powerful flat-landers. The 2012 Bay State Cyclocross weekend will host rounds five and six in Massachusetts on a course prepared by Tom Stevens, a long-standing member of the New England cyclocross scene.
Missing from the calendar are The Nor-easter CX, Grand Prix of Gloucester, Providence Festival, Cycle-Smart International and NBX Grand Prix. The latter four races will comprise the eight-round, four-weekend Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series.
Verge New England Cyclo-Cross Series 2012 Schedule
Green Mountain Cyclo-Cross Weekend — Williston, Vt.
Rounds 1 & 2
Downeast Cyclocross — New Gloucester, Maine
Rounds 3 & 4
Bay State Cyclocross — Sterling, Mass.
Rounds 5 & 6