There’s good racing in the Southeast starting tomorrow with the Rock Hill Omnium. In its thirtieth year, the Rock Hill Bicycle Club event is a qualifying race for Nature Valley becoming a must attend for elite racers hoping to earn Pro Ride selection in Minnesota.
The three-day omnium kicks off Friday night with street sprints. These sprints are a unique feature and rarely featured in omniums. Rock Hill’s sprints are contested eight riders at a time with racers held in the same manner as at the start of a time trial. With the drop of the flag the racers rocket toward the finish line 350 meters down the road. The winner advances and second and third place finishers go to a repechage round. The sprints are scheduled for the early evening and will finish under the portable lights.
Saturday is a day for the endurance racers with the Patriot’s Trail road race. The course is a rolling 47-mile loop and depending on the category, racers will complete one or two laps of the rolling parcours.
The final day is the criterium located beside the scenic Winthrop Lake. The one-mile loop is comprised of sweeping turns with no curbs, so it’s a friendly course for the new rider and sure to be a fast one for the experienced racers.
The town of Rock Hill isn’t just the host for the Rock Hill Omnium. Plans are underway for a cycling facility that will include a velodrome, BMX track, cyclocross course as well as road and mountain bike trails. And with the 2013 cyclocross world championships scheduled for Louisville, Kentucky what better way to introduce the world to Rock Hill than to host tune-up races for the attending ‘cross racers before the world championships?