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Road bike events rockin' at cyclebration

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series of stories on Cyclebration, leading up to the event on Sept. 16-18. Next week’s story will feature the mountain bike events. The fourth annual Folsom Cyclebration brings around 600 bicyclers to the three-day event and the road bike races provide some unique opportunities in Northern California. The South Canal Time Trial, Folsom Challenge Criterium and the Willow Creek Circuit Race comprise the road bike omnium and the Gold Rush Century, Metric Century and Half Metric Century race is the other road bike event. More than $6,000 will be awarded to the top riders in the road bike omnium event. Robert Goss, Folsom Parks and Recreation director, has spent the past five years organizing Folsom Cyclebration in part to make the city of Folsom a home to competitive cycling. Categories range based on age and ability in all races and accommodate anywhere from 30 to 100 participants in each road bike event, according to Goss. Individual race organizers and promoters feature their teams of around 30 to 35 racers. Dr. Todd Drybread and Capital Adventure Racing organizes and promotes the Gold Rush Century, Metric Century and Half Metric Century event. The full century is a 100-mile course over the challenging back roads of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Metric Century is a 63-mile course and the Half Metric a 32-mile ride. “The century rides are extremely challenging courses ranging from over 8,000 feet in elevation climbs to just under 2,000 feet,” said Drybread. “It has some of the best views of the area and is a great ride for dedicated cyclists.” Wilson and Erin Gorrell, Folsom Bike and Grind retail store owners, organized time trial events on the same course outline as the Folsom South Canal Time Trial. Riders race against the clock and are sent every 30 seconds along an 11-mile out and back course with three short steep hills. “It’s a different discipline so you’re basically racing against the clock,” said Erin Gorrell. “You’re not in a pack like in a criterium. It’s just you and the clock.” Rob Kopitzke, owner of Body Concepts, a physical therapy studio and race team, is the promoter of the Folsom Challenge Criterium. Racers complete laps on a fast-paced, flat course with two 90-degree corners and a wide open sprint finish. “In a criterium racers are in a pack, it’s a timed event and lengths range based on the different categories,” said Kopitzke. “Whoever wins individual laps can win a prize of some sort, also. It keeps the action going throughout the race.” The Willow Creek Circuit Race, a longer course than the criterium, completes the third stage of the omnium qualifying on Sunday. “The circuit race is like Daytona. It’s a much bigger course over 2.3 miles. The racing is very tight, there are no big hills and racers are very fit and roll right through the course quickly,” said Goss. Ken Todd of Folsom has biked for 20 years and competed in Cyclebration the past few years as president of the Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada team. His wife, Lisa, and daughter, Kendall, 8, will enjoy the “fun-along-the-way” type of racing, while dad takes on the omnium. “I know Robert (Goss) wants Folsom to be the cycling city of the United States and events like Cyclebration are huge leaps to make that dream come to fruition,” said Todd. “One of the great things for me is being able to not only compete, but go down to the Fam Jam, hit the Beer Garden after races and the whole thing is a great family event. You can kick back and have some good times with family and friends over a great weekend.” Road bike events begin early on Saturday, Sept. 17 and conclude on Sunday with awards, prizes, cash prizes and winners. For more information visit folsomcyclebration.com. Cyclebration, Sept. 16-18 • Road bike events include: • South Canal Time Trial, Folsom Challenge Criterium and the Willow Creek Circuit Race make up the road bike omnium • There is also the Gold Rush Century, the Metric Century and Half-Metric Century • For more information go to folsomcyclebration.com