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Races hit the veldrome Friday, Saturday and Sunday

The anticipation is growing as the 15th annual Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge nears. This 3-day competition draws elite track cyclists, national and international athletes, Olympians and the best local riders all competing for track records and cash prizes.

The Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge is a one-of-a-kind spectator event, unique for its caliber of competitors, type of venue and challenging course. This year more events have been added to the schedule, including sprints for all categories and several endurance events on Friday. The elite women, men and masters 40 and older will compete for $13,000 in prizes, making it one of the richest track races in the country.

Charlie Warner, the Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge race organizer, encourages the public to come check it out.

“Track racing is pretty exciting,” said Warner. “I like to compare track racing to a video game with fast-paced action that changes quickly. Normal road racing is longer and takes time to develop, like a chess match. Races at the Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge range from as long as 40 minutes to as short as five to 10 minutes."

Known for its distinctive shape, the Alpenrose Velodrome is one of only 20 bicycle racing tracks in the nation and is considered among the most demanding due to its shape and incline. With corners positioned at a 43-degree angle, racers must maintain a constant speed of 12.5 miles per hour in order to remain upright on the track. 

"This won’t be a problem for these world-class athletes who will reach speeds up to 40 mph," Warner said.

In addition to being one of the steepest banked tracks in the nation, the track is also unique because it is made of concrete, while most others are wooden. This year Warner tells everyone to watch for the great action in steep banks.

"Local racer Zak Kovalcik will be returning home and is the defending national champion in the Omnium,” said Warner. “He recently won all of the endurance events in the Fixed Gear Classic in Minnesota. Also, local lady Erin Glover has been rising in the ranks nationally and will want to stamp her mark on this signature home event.”

This event is very well respected and has been a launching board for world champions and Olympians. “I am looking forward to seeing which new riders emerge,” said Warner. “With this being an off year for many Olympic hopefuls, this will be the year when riders who’d like to make a run at the 2016 Olympics will want to start being noticed.”

The Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge is free for spectators and takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In addition to exciting entertainment, spectators can enjoy great food and shop for heavily discounted cycling attire.

The Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge is located at 6149 SW Shattuck Road, off Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway in Hayhurst. For more information, visit alpenrosechallenge.com.


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