The third stop on the 2006 National Race Calendar is less than two weeks away. The Central Valley Classic  begins on March 10th with the Tollhouse Time Trial , then continues March 11th with the flat-and-fast Kearney Circuit Race , and concludes with the technical Tower District Criterium  March 12th.
There are many new bicycle racers in the NCNCA, so for those of you that may not know, the National Race Calendar (NRC) was established in 1997 to "create a streamlined circuit of pro-level road cycling events in the United States" (http://www.usacycling.org/nrc/ ).
If you have not been to an NRC race before, you will notice right away that there might be a slightly different atmosphere surrounding the event than your typical industrial-park criterium or middle-of-nowhere road race. The pro fields will be full (150 men and 100 women), the amateur fields will have riders from southern California, Oregon, Arizona, Washington and beyond, the competition will be stronger and the racing will be more intense. The prize lists will also be larger and will pay deeper than most local races.
The Central Valley Classic was granted NRC status last year and again this year, and we hope to continue bringing high-quality racing to Pros and amateurs well into the future. We put a lot of time and energy into creating a top-notch event for pros and amateurs alike, and we need your support to continue.
Here is what's new for 2006:
â€¢ Omnium points series (all fields). In addition to money and prizes, riders earn points for placing in the Time Trial, Circuit Race, and Criterium. The overall Omnium winner in each category will take home a cool trophy, and for the Pro/1 riders and Pro/1/2 women additional cash and prizes.
â€¢ Tollhouse Time Trial  (Pro/1, Cat 2, and Pro/1/2 women). This legendary section of Old Tollhouse Road will once again be home to a race against the clock. This road is a relentless 2600 foot climb in 6.6 miles, and the final 1km is very steep, between 15% and 22% gradient.
â€¢ Health fair at Kearney Park. The Central California Blood Bank will be out and accepting donations (not transfusions), some crafts vendors will be displaying their wares, and activities for the kids will also be available.
This stuff is the same as last year:
â€¢ Swag bags for racers
â€¢ Quick postings of results (as fast as the race officials can get them to us)
â€¢ Deep payouts and good prize lists (almost all fields pay to 10)
â€¢ Shimano neutral support
â€¢ Kids race on Sunday at the criterium
â€¢ Race announcing by the legendary Dave Towle
â€¢ Online registration (http://www.sportsbaseonline.com )
â€¢ Full road closure for the Circuit Race
Time is running out to avoid late fees. Also, Cat 1s and 2s please note that there is no same-day registration for the time trial. We look forward to your support in 2006. Make this year the year you decide to race the Central Valley Classic.
Hope to see you racing in Fresno.
Central Valley Classic