On Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5, 2018, the Women’s Woodstock Cycling Grand Prix (WWCGP) will be celebrating its 6th year! This annual bicycle race is a unique event highlighted by an “out-and-back” world-class race course. The addition of an individual time trial, staged in Phoenicia, NY, has increased rider appeal and is creating even more bicycling exposure in Ulster County communities. The WWCGP is a USA Cycling -sanctioned race designed for and with Pro, Elite, and first-time athletes all in mind.
Racers come from all over the Northeast corridor as well as from the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. This destination event has substantially increased in popularity because only a few USA Cycling-sanctioned 100+ km road races include
this popular out-and-back format in North America.
WWCGP’s unique women-only race highlights the sportsmanship and athleticism of females, which are very often overlooked in the male-dominated sport of competitive cycling. “Over the five-year history of the WWCGP, our world-class participants have gone on to win medals at the Olympics, National Championships, and World Championships. Racers who attended at the Category 4 level years ago have developed into regular podium finishers in both road racing and cyclocross events at the Elite level,” said Martin Bruhn, WWCGP Race Director. “We're honored to have such elite as well as recreational athletes committed to our event, as they continue to utilize the WCGP as a highly competitive, season-opening, personal fitness test platform after a long winter.”
The 62 and 33 mile road races on Saturday, May 5, will begin and end on Rock City Road in Ulster County’s iconic Town of Woodstock. They encompass the most appropriate cycling roads in the townships of Woodstock, Phoenicia, Hurley, and Saugerties, highlighting what Ulster County has to offer for both the recreational and competitive bicyclist.
Routes include the ever-challenging Meads Mountain Road, which scales Overlook Mountain for two miles at an average seven percent grade. Pro 1/2/3 riders get the added bonus of traversing the notorious Ohayo Mountain, appropriately named “Seven Sisters” for the seven steep and tight turns, and a visit through the lovely hamlet of Phoenicia.
"As a race, the WWCGP is top-notch”, says Rebecca Fahringer, an elite racer. “The roads are great, the promoting team is motivated, there is plenty of support. It’s a top level event, and what makes it even more special, is it’s women-only. Normally I enjoy inclusion of everyone, but the WWCGP isn't about being feminine; it’s about celebrating strong female athletes and giving them a fair day.”
The WWCGP message of promoting cycling includes recreational bicycling and especially bicycle safety. With this in mind, WWCGP strongly advocates a “three-foot passing” law in NY State through its “Share the Road” campaign.
On Friday, May 4, Phoenicia will host a 6.2 mile individual time trial on a perfectly flat road course, with the first racer starting at 3:30 pm. The course is located along the Old Plank Road, freshly paved with the bicycle race in mind, and will parallel the famed Esopus Creek. Many of the same athletes will complete the entire Omnium by tackling the road races, beginning at 8:00 am, the next day.
The weekend’s event will conclude after all racers finish at approximately 11:30 am Saturday with an awards ceremony and community BBQ at the Woodstock Community Center on Rock City Road. There will also be a dedication ceremony for several important and committed advocates of the sport and more specifically the WWCGP: Ellen Watters , Jeremy Wilber , Susie Diller , and Jason Lowndes .