Downtown Boone will be filled with peddling as cyclers gather this weekend for the High Country Cycling Classic. The High Country Cycling Classic is a weekend of action-packed road bike racing that takes place in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains over this weekend, April 27 and 28. Saturday’s Cove Creek Road Race will challenge even the toughest legs, while Sunday’s Mountaineer Crit, which takes place in the very center of downtown Boone, is both spectator friendly and challenging. Cyclers from all over will be participating this weekend, including the cycling team from Lees-McRae College.
The Mountaineer Criterium begins on Rivers Street, the main thoroughfare of Appalachian State University. Racers will head towards Raley Parking Lot before a tight hairpin 180 turn sends them back towards Depot Street and team Sponsor Magic Cycles. Two more left turns follow before racers re-enter Rivers Street, which widens to 2 lanes in each direction for a fantastic false flat downhill sprint finish. With only 33 feet of elevation gain per lap, this race will be won by the racer who can put down the most power.
The Cove Creek Road Race pays homage to the Cowbelle Classic, an annual female only road bike ride through the High Country. Our version of the course is slightly extended, but still contains all the climbing and technical roads that the High Country is known for. The course is a “lollipop” type route. Riders will travel down a 2.7 mile straight section of road before completing their respective number of laps clockwise. To finish, they will turn back down the starting straight and finish where they began.
The High Country Cycling Classic is presented through a partnership of the Appalachian State University Cycling Team and Boone Area Cyclists. Appalachian State has long been hosting their home road bike race in towns surrounding the university, but 2018 will be the first time that both the road race and the criterium will be in Boone proper. On behalf of App State Cycling and BAC, we look forward to seeing you in April and making this event one of the best in the High Country.
Saturday’s road race will take place in the Sugar Grove area. The course features some tough uphill stretches as well as some descents where riders have to be technically sound, so the course layout will definitely play a factor in the element of the race. Sunday’s criterium events will run through downtown Boone, with a five-turn course alongside the Appalachian State University campus. The criterium course is spectator friendly for Sunday’s events.
The collegiate racing begins on Saturday (Apr. 27) at 11 a.m. with the men’s B race, followed by the women’s A race at 11:05 a.m. The men’s C race will also start at 11:10 a.m., before the men’s A race begins at 2:35 p.m. Sunday (Apr. 28) begins with the men’s C criterium at 9:20 a.m., followed by the men’s D criterium at 10 a.m. The women’s B/C critierum starts at 10:30 a.m., while the men’s B criterium starts off the line at 11:10 a.m. The men’s A criterium begins at 12 p.m., while the women’s A criterium rounds out the collegiate racing with a 1:10 p.m. start. The weather forecast looks favorable to have a positive effect on rider and road conditions alike. There will be no team time trial at this event.
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