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Cyclocross

U.S. Cycling This Week: Cross Out Cancer

The elite U.S. ’crossers have a week off for the most part, with Sunday’s C2 tilt at Downeast Cyclo-cross in Maine the country’s only UCI contest, and so a small race for a big cause takes center stage. The fifth round of the Utah Cyclocross series runs at Wheeler Farm in Murray on Saturday and for the second year the Cross Out Cancer event fights the disease and recognizes members of the cycling community living through cancer.

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The elite U.S. ’crossers have a week off for the most part, with Sunday’s C2 tilt at Downeast Cyclo-cross in Maine the country’s only UCI contest, and so a small race for a big cause takes center stage. The fifth round of the Utah Cyclocross series runs at Wheeler Farm in Murray on Saturday and for the second year the Cross Out Cancer event fights the disease and recognizes members of the cycling community living through cancer.

When UTCX promoter Matt Ohran bumped into David O’Leary at an event last fall, it was the first time they’d seen each other since O’Leary’s son Connor had been diagnosed with testicular cancer that summer. The diagnosis came the day O’Leary was scheduled to leave for the national championships in Bend, Oregon. Days later, O’Leary, a promising U23 rider who had spent the spring with the national team in Europe, received an email from Lance Armstrong, who eventually assisted his family in setting up treatment.

“He (O’Leary) said, ‘I want to do a fundraiser to give back, but I have nothing. I’d be starting from scratch,’” Ohran told VeloNews. “He asked if we minded if he piggy backed on our races and raised funds for Livestrong. In 30 days time, we raised close to $30,000.”

The first annual Cross Out Cancer took place on November 27, 2010. Ohran said the event fell on the day of O’Leary’s final chemotherapy session and that he came to the race from the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Last year’s event, thrown together in a month, benefited the Lance Armstrong Foundation. This year, Cross Out Cancer grows to support LAF and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

O’Leary wasn’t the only member of the Utah cycling community living through cancer treatment. Popular USA Cycling official Cindy Yorgason was doing the same and both found their names emblazoned on “I’m riding for…” number plates issued to participants in the fun ride. Ohran said the customizable number plates will be back this weekend and he has extended fundraising to December 17.

“We’re extending fundraising all the way through the ’cross season to December 17 and we’ll do our final count and tally of what we raised then,” he said.

In addition to a full day of racing, a running 5k and a fun ’cross ride, a Cross Out Cancer will feature a silent auction with items including a Cannondale Super-X carbon frame and several Armstrong-signed jerseys. The auction, in the barn at Wheeler Farm opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 3:00 p.m.

Ohran said those interested in donated, but unable to attend Cross Out Cancer, should visit http://www.utcx.net/cross-out-cancer.

Cross Out Cancer — Murray, Utah
October 22 8:00 a.m. (5k run) / 12:15 p.m. (women) / 1:25 p.m. (fun ride) / 2:25 p.m. (men)
45 min. (women) / 60 min. (men)
Wheeler Historic Farm
Learn more and donate: http://utcx.net/cross-out-cancer
*Utah Cyclocross series

Downeast Cyclo-cross — New Gloucester, Maine
October 22-23 2:00 p.m. (women) / 3:00 p.m. (men)
40 min. (women) / 60 min. (men)
$1,458 (women) / $2,068 (men)
*Saturday women’s race is 50 min.
*Sunday race is UCI C2
*Non-elite events are Verge NECCS series

Cross Crusade Race #3 — Portland, Oregon
October 16 1:00 p.m. (men and women)
60 min. (men and women)
Heron Lakes Course, Portland International Raceway

Dirt Club Cross — Los Olivos, California
October 22 2:00 p.m. (women) / 3:00 p.m. (men)
40 min. (women) / 60 min. (men)
$500 (women) / $500 (men)

SLO Cross #1 – San Luis Obispo, California
October 23 2:00 p.m. (women) / 3:00 p.m. (men)
40 min. (women) / 60 min. (men)
$500 (men)

*SoCal Cross Prestige Series

ABD Sunrise Park — Bartlett, Illinois
October 23 10:45 a.m. (women) / 1:30 p.m. (men)
45 min. (women) / 60 min. (men)
*Chicago Cyclocross Cup