For the first time in history, the UCI cyclocross season will begin in the United States as the Nittany Lion Cross kicks-off both the UCI and Champion System MAC season on September 11 at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. Domestic and amateur competitors will have two opportunities to race on the weekend as the PACX season starts the following day with the Concrete Crater Cross, named for the world famous concrete velodrome at the heart of the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. In fact, the velodrome will be in action during Saturday’s Nittany Lion Cross for the MABRA Track Championships, giving spectators (and participants) the unique opportunity to walk back and forth between two completely different cycling disciplines.
One nice thing about holding a cyclocross on the grounds of a stadium facility dedicated to bike racing is that the venue understands the needs of cyclists. With that in mind, the track’s permanent beer and wine concession will be open both days. Also open will be the Breakaway Café concession stand next to the beer stand which, as far as anyone can determine is the only fully organic, full-service sports venue concession stand in the world. In addition to beer, wine and organic food, the facility also hosts athletic locker rooms and showers.
Aside from the infrastructure, racers will also be treated to a technical track that makes full use of the property’s elevation changes. In an experiment, the Nittany Lion Cross will change-up the usual MAC schedule a little bit by running the Elite Masters and Elite Junior race immediately after the UCI Men and Women instead of immediately before. The change does not affect the concrete Crater Cross because the lower-key PACX incorporates the Elite Masters into the Elite Men’s race for their races.