Cyclists of all ages will be out this weekend, the same weekend as the Summerfest celebration, in Rolla and the surrounding area for competitive races.
The Rolla Multisport Club is putting on the 2013 Hellbender Omnium Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2.
This is the 10th year that a competitive cycling event has been held in Rolla, according to Morgan Bearden, of the Rolla Multisport Club.
One of the featured races of this two-day event is the children’s bicycle and tricycle races, scheduled to start at noon Saturday, June 1, in the Rolla High School parking lot.
Registration will be open from 10:30-11:30 a.m. that day. Children will compete in four categories: 5-year-olds and younger for a three-wheel dash, 5-year-olds and younger two-wheel dash, 6-to-7-year-olds single-speed sprint and 8-to-10-year-olds single-speed sprint.
All participants must wear a helmet and closed-toe shoes. All bicycles must be in safe operating conditions. An awards ceremony will be held after all of the races are completed. Bearden said winners will get to stand on podiums and receive a flower bouquet and grape juice.
The Rolla Multisport Club and the Noon Kiwanis Club will hold are sponsoring the children’s races. For more information, call 573-578-2982.
Criterium, road races
During the two-day event, which includes the criterium and road races, participants can earn money prizes from a $3,000 cash purse.
The Hellbender criterium, which will take place on Saturday, June 1, is a closed course within the Rolla city limits will be the same loop as in the past, once again starting and finishing at the RHS parking lot. This is where people can register that day.
The course is a 0.6-mile counter-clockwise loop, which will be predominately flat to rolling with minor elevation change. The course will include six 90-degree turns, two of which are off camber.
There will be eight different categories (not including the children’s bicycle and tricycle races) with the first race starting at 9 a.m. and the last race starting at 3:15 p.m.
On Sunday, June 2, the Hellbender road race will take place. This road race will serve as this year’s state championship road race. There will be 16 different categories for the road race with races starting as early as 9 a.m. and the last races starting at noon.
The road course includes the classic Hellbender Loop but for the second time, the race will start and finish in Rolla rather than Newburg.
The Rolla start/finish adds 15 miles and new hills to the already challenging course through the Mark Twain National Forest and traversing the Big and Little Piney River watersheds. Bearden called the route for the road races scenic.
Race headquarters will be at Columbia College on Blues Lake Parkway. This is where people can register that day.
Page 2 of 2 - Riders in these competitions can still register the day of the race, but they need a license to participate since this is a USA Cycling Road sanctioned event.
Bearden reminded motorists to watch for cyclists this weekend, especially on State Routes T, M, J and P.
Dr. James Felts, who practices in Rolla, will be at the races in case anyone is in need of medical attention, Bearden said.
In addition to the Rolla Multisport Club, this year’s sponsors include Brewer Science, Baymont Inn and Suites, Forum Dental, Rolla Noon Kiwanis Club, and the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce.
Rolla High School and Columbia College also are allowing the use of their campuses for the races.
The Rolla Optimist Club is sponsoring the junior races through the Road DEVO race series, which is for children ages 12-18. This series is separate from the children’s bicycle and tricycle races.
For more information, visit rollamultisportclub.org.