– Toughest Pro/Am Cycling Event in the Country Returns for 2010 –
Hood River, Ore., February 5th, 2010– The Mt. Hood Cycling classic, renown for it’s challenging Columbia Gorge time trial and mountain top finishes, is pleased to announce the addition of a new title sponsor, Indie Hops, as well as two new stages in Portland, Oregon.
“We’re excited to have Indie Hops on board,” said race director Chad Sperry. “Their sponsorship will continue our tradition of using the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic as a vehicle for promoting a healthy lifestyle as well as the regions amazing craft beer.”
Indie Hops of Portland is a new company whose mission is to grow and supply the craft beer industry with 100% Oregon grown aroma hops. Roger Worthington, the owner, himself is a long-time competitor in the classic, and in 2009 won the masters division.
“”Indie Hops is pleased to sponsor this truly unique race in the center of Beervana,” said Worthington. “It’s a perfect fit. We think a well-hopped beer should be a vital part of every athlete’s training table.”
The 2010 Indie Hops Mt. Hood Cycling Classic will kick off at ground zero in Portland, the biking and craft beer capital of the U.S. On June 1st, racers will test the speed and cornering limits of human powered vehicles on the Portland International Raceway in a must-see prologue. For the first time ever the Prologue and 5 stage race will be open to separate Category 2 men’s field in addition to the Pro-1 Men’s race.
On June 2nd, for Stage 1, the Pro Men and Category 2 racers will return to the lung and leg busting Mt. Tabor Circuit race in Portland. With a total elevation of 3000 feet for a 90 minute circuit race it is going to be a one tough night of racing.
For stage two the race will leave the state of Oregon for the first time in its history traveling north into Washington State and the base of the majestic Mt. Adams. This also marks the start of the race for the amateur categories competing at the event. Competitors will roll across the flanks of Mt. Adams and through scenic farm lands on relatively flat roads. “For 2010 we truly wanted to offer the sprinters something that they could contest before sending everyone back to our traditional mountain courses” says race director Chad Sperry. This new course is so scenic and spectacular it will make for a great addition to the event and now give us a three volcano tour with the return of Mt. Tabor and Mt. Hood”.
Stage four will again feature the toughest time trial in the country with the return of the Scenic Gorge Time Trial, an 18 mile, point to point love-hate fest with over 2,000 feet of climbing. Racers will need to combine speed, power and nerve, as it’s not unusual for racers churning through the Gorge to face sustained headwinds of over 25 mph with sudden ‘wind bomb” explosions exceeding 30 mph.
The stage five Wy’East Road Race will once again weed out the podium pretenders. Starting in the alpine settings on the flanks of Mt. Hood, the course takes racers east into the dry arid regions of Eastern Oregon before returning to the grueling mountain to finish at the Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort. Stage six will conclude the race on Sunday June 6th with the downtown Hood River Criterium, a mad dash around the iconic Full Sail Brewing Company.
“The 2010 Indie Hops Mt. Hood Cycling Classic should be our best year ever,” forecasted Sperry. “With Indie Hops on board, we will build a rock concert atmosphere at the Mt. Tabor and Hood River criteriums—picture high speed action on the course with vigorous debate by beer lovers on the sidelines over which IPA, Stout or Red has the best flavor and aroma.”
“We look forward to a long and ‘hoppy’ relationship with Indie Hops, “ said Sperry, noting that Indie Hops recently announced sponsorship of a $1 million aroma hop breeding program at Oregon State University over the next 5 years.
On a less happy note, gone for this year will be the Pro 1-2 women’s race. “We are deeply saddened to have to postpone our women’s pro race this year but do to scheduling conflicts with Liberty Classic and Tulsa Tough we were confident that the number of participants for the women’s event would have been too small to run,” Sperry. “We are already in the works to build it back into the program next year with some shuffling of the calendar”.