Downtown WJ hosts cycling race this weekend

Nathan HamSports

April 3, 2013

This Sunday, Appalachian State University and several other schools will have racers competing in a short track style bicycle race in downtown West Jefferson.

“The race has been described as NASCAR on bikes,” said Sean Weddell, coach of the Appalachian State cycling team. “The racers will average between 25 and 30 miles-per-hour for their races, all while riding shoulder to shoulder and elbow to elbow.

Weddell spoke at the West Jefferson Town Alderman meeting earlier this week hoping to get approval for this last minute event.

The races will take place using Main, First, Third and N. Sixth streets set up as a loop for the racers and will last from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Those streets will be closed during that time.

Each race will have a certain time limit based on how experienced the classes of riders are. For example, the less experienced riders will race for 30 minutes while more experienced riders will race for an hour.

Racers will run laps through the course and the winner will be the first to cross the finish line once time has expired.

Weddell pointed out that there will be wrecks and accidents, but that’s just how things go in this style of racing.

There will be four male racing classes: Beginner, novice, expert and advanced, and three female racing classes: Beginner, novice, and expert.

Appalachian State is in fifth place overall in the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Cycling Conference, and all racers involved will be from schools in that conference. The Naval Academy currently sits in first place, followed by Virginia Tech, Duke, NC State and ASU. Some of the other teams in the conference include West Virginia, UNC, Virginia, Maryland, Wake Forest, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro and UNC-Wilmington.