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Centurion Rides into Ellicottville in August

by Eva Potter

Cyclists, get your helmets on! Ellicottville will premier the Centurion Cycling series from Aug. 17–19, 2012, filling its residents’ and visitors’ voracious appetite for sports competition and camaraderie. The Ellicottville event marks the third stop on the four-leg tour spanning New York and Ontario, Canada, featuring 25-, 50- and 100-mile loops as well as a Time Trial.

“We continue to look for new events to bring to town and the Centurion Cycling event this summer is our latest endeavor,” said Brian McFadden, executive director of the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce. “Costing the chamber $150,000 over the five-year contract, the event will add millions in economic impact to the community,” said McFadden.

According to Centurion Cycling Founder Graham Fraser, the Ellicottville community has an “appetite well-suited to our brand of cycling event.”

Whether you want to ride or race as part of a corporate team, friends and family team, cycling club or bike shop team, anyone can assemble a crew and register to compete in any of the distances for this “Tour de France” type of experience. Centurion Cycling is also presenting the Club Challenge to spur competition between cycling clubs and teams, with a title and trophy for ultimate bragging rights. Register your team at http://www.eventsonline.ca/events/centurion.

The event kicks off on Friday evening with a thrilling cycling movie in downtown Ellicottville, providing great fun for participants and spectators alike.

On Saturday morning, cyclists riding the 25-mile course will make one loop over 25 miles of challenging Cattaraugus County roads. This race is followed by the Kid’s Ride. Both begin and end in the village on Washington Street.

That afternoon, the Individual Time Trial and the Elite Team Time Trial preliminary heats will be run. The Individual Time Trial is a short-course timed event that begins with an individual interval start down a ramp. The area’s top amateur cyclists can participate in the Elite Team Time Trial, a race against the clock with the winner claiming the prize purse. Elite Team riders, considered top riders on a state or provincial team and who typically average 30 miles per hour, will be nominated by cycling clubs and teams. These four-person Elite Teams will need to work together using strategy and skill to race against the clock in this elimination-format CAN-AM competition.

The weekend climaxes on Sunday with the 50-mile and 100-mile distances, which entail a coordinated start using pace corrals so racers can get out front faster and those who want to ride can position themselves farther back in the pack. According to event organizers, the routes for Sunday’s 50- and 100-mile distances head southwest up Fish Hill, before splitting to bring the 50-mile participants back through the village and then east for a second loop containing rolling hills and moderate climbing. The 100-mile course goes further out and then up Murder Hill and through Little Valley, before coming back through the village and out east for a 75-mile loop that includes challenging climbs up some of the area’s most legendary hills.

“We are extremely excited to be hosting Centurion Cycling in Ellicottville,” said Brian McFadden, Executive Director of the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, in other press. “We look forward to the impact that this event will create both economically and to further our goal of recognizing Ellicottville as a ‘premiere’ sporting destination in Western New York.”

Time to start training! If you need help with that, just contact The Ellicottville Bike Shop, which has been named the Official Bike Shop of Centurion Ellicottville. Owner Dennis Baldwin and his staff are offering organized pre-rides of the courses and other event information. Give them a call at (716) 699-2453.

For a list of the weekend’s events, course maps and other details, visit www.centurioncycling.com/ellicottville.

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