POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — It is the biggest collegiate cycling event on the East Coast, where teams from at least 50 colleges and universities go head to head in two days of intense competition – and this year, it's being hosted by Vassar College at New Paltz and Poughkeepsie locations.
The Vassar College Cycling Club will host the 34th annual Eastern Collegiate Cycling Championship, dubbed the "Vassar College Tour of the Hudson River Valley," on April 28-29. The college beat out several other schools for this honor, making it the first time Vassar will host this prestigious collegiate cycling event.
Over the 2-day event, more than five hundred collegiate cyclists will take part in a series of championship races and activities.
Beginning in New Paltz, on the morning of Saturday, April 28, cyclists will participate in a Walkill Team Time Trial on a 9-mile course along the Walkill River. Later that morning, they will compete in the Shawangunk Road Race, a 100-mile loop along rolling country roads, and through New Paltz, that will feature two major climbs – one up Mohonk Mountain, the other culminating at Lake Minnewaska State Park Preserve.
The championships continue with the Poughkeepsie Criterium on Sunday morning, April 29, on a 1 kilometer, flat, 4-corner loop course that begins and ends at Poughkeepsie High School. Cyclists will travel in a counterclockwise loop on Forbus Street, Lown Court, College Avenue, and Worrall Avenue.
The public will not only be able to cheer on the racers through the hills and streets of the Hudson Valley, but area riders are invited to participate as well. All competitive cyclists may register for Sunday morning's Poughkeepsie Criterium race, and registration fees will be waived for any local police, fire, and EMT personnel who wish to compete. A smaller-scale children's Criterium race will also be held that day at Poughkeepsie High School.
(For directions and a full schedule of the weekend's events, please visit www.VassarCycling.com.)
Walkill Team Time Trial
Libertyville Road next to Walkill River, New Paltz, NY
Registration: 6:00 a.m.
Race start: 7:00 a.m.
Shawangunk Road Race
30-mile loop with two major climbs
Ulster County Fairgrounds, New Paltz, NY
Registration: Closes 15 minutes before start of each category
Race start: Staggered beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Flat 1k, four-corner course (Adult and Children's races open to the public)
Poughkeepsie High School, Poughkeepsie, NY
Registration: 6:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Race start: 7:00 a.m.
Pre-register for the Criterium race at Bikereg.com:
Registration fees will be waived for any local police, fire, and EMT personnel who wish to compete (contact Vassar Cycling Club President Christian Rose at (845) 594-6720 or email@example.com.)
The Vassar College Cycling Club is a student-run club of cyclists that has its own racing team. Though the club had a series of wins in the '80s and '90s, it was defunct for a number of years. That all changed when a new group of passionate cyclists enrolled at Vassar over the past few years and reenergized the cycling club.
[Left: Vassar College Cycling Club member Peter Horn] Since then, the group has experienced a series of impressive wins. In fact, Vassar cyclist Peter Horn '08 just won the 2007 Boston Beanpot Classic, the largest collegiate cycling event in the country, for the second time. Horn is the first cyclist to win the Boston Beanpot Classic two years in a row.
Vassar's cyclists are known as the "Men in Pink," and wear the college's original colors as their uniforms: pewter and rose. The club currently has eight riders: Peter Horn, Christian Rose, Dave Vollbach, Miranda Hicks-Courant, Sally Plotnick, Liz Engel, Joe Stricker, and Adam Favaloro.
The Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) includes colleges from New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. As they compete from early March through April, ECCC teams vie for the top of the season-long team points standings, Collegiate Nationals qualification team spots, and the Ivy League trophy. The inexpensive races feature team-oriented bicycle racing for all abilities with team pride, glory, and honor as the only prizes.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact Campus Activities Office at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.
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