Cyclocross Racers Descending on Cornwall for Race
Over 200 cyclocross racers from across Eastern Ontario are expected to descend on Cornwall on Sunday October 28 for the second annual Ottawa Bicycle Club Cyclocross Series race.
The event is part of the nine-race OBC Cyclocross Circuit, and it will once again be held on Cornwall’s waterfront in the area of Legion Ball Fields, just east of Cornwall Civic Complex.
Event organizer and cyclocross racer Dr. Marc Dubuc said he expects roughly 220 competitors to take part in the Sunday race, and the vast majority of them will be coming from the Ottawa area.
Dr. Dubuc first approached the Ottawa Bicycle Club to have a race in Cornwall last year, and it turned out to be a pretty good proposition. The first race, held last fall, was a huge success in the eyes of both the organizers and participants.
“Everybody loves the venue and the location,” said Dr. Dubuc.
Dr. Dubuc said his decision to approach the Ottawa Bicycle Club spawned from a desire to help showcase his hometown.
“The idea is to put Cornwall on the map as a great cycling destination and to show cyclists from outside of Cornwall just how beautiful it is on our waterfront,” he added.
Beyond raising awareness about Cornwall, the event will also benefit the local economy.
“The participants will gas up, eat at our restaurants and they may stay at hotels the night before (the race),” Dr. Dubuc noted.
The race field will consist of 10 or 12 local competitors. Cornwall’s own Derrick St. John, an accomplished cyclocross racer who has won silver at the Canadian National Cyclocross Championships, is expected to be part of the local field.
"I am eagerly looking forward to competing for the second year on home soil. I get to train at least once a week on the course so it gives the local riders a slight advantage," said local cyclist Joe McNamara. "Since last year’s race, several area cyclists have taken the plunge and purchased a bike that is specific to this type of racing. It has been both a positive health impact and economical impact for the area."
The races will get underway at 9 am with the Masters Category (age 30 and over), followed the Women and Children race at 10:15 am and finally, the Elite Category at 11:30 am.
Dr. Dubuc said the course terrain – which includes various hills and dips around the Legion Park area – and the backdrop of the St. Lawrence River makes it an attractive venue for participants, and it’s enjoyable for spectators as well.
Residents who wish to take in some of the action may be best to park at the Aquatic Centre and proceed to the area east of the Cornwall Curling Centre.
Cyclocross is the fastest growing discipline in cycling, and its popularity is skyrocketing worldwide. Special cyclocross bikes are used (think of a road bike with narrow mountain bike tires) as racers ride on grassy fields, dismount off their bikes and carry them over barriers, run up steep, short hills and ride through sand pits or mud (depending upon conditions).
Dr. Dubuc’s support for cycling extends well beyond the cyclocross race. He is a member of the Cornwall Cycling Club, which has roots dating back over 20 years. He is also co-owner of Total Cyclery and Sports in Downtown Cornwall and he strives to promote cycling as a healthy alternative.