Cycling is one of the fasted growing sports in the country. Lance Armstrong’s success over the past few years with the Tour d’ France has made many more Americans aware of the sport. Now Ellicottville has a chance to see the sport up close; and even participate. Centurion Cycling organizes bike race events in several areas throughout the East Coast and Canada. On August 17-19 they will be hold a race through and around our town. The weekend’s events will include everything from a 100 mile race to a kids ride, time trials, a movie and an exposition. Locals are invited to participate and volunteer for the races.
“We were really excited when we made our initial visit last fall,” says Tim Hyland from Centurion. “We were really taken with the wholesome appeal of the surroundings and the Village,” he says. He adds, “We’re trying to grow the sport by sponsoring wholesome family activities that are welcoming to anybody.” Tim is also quick to emphasize the professionalism the company brings to the sport. The courses are professorially laid out, they have traffic control, water and feed stations along the route, and have a crew patrol the course to pick up any trash the riders may discard. Their intention is to make riders of all levels feel supported and comfortable in the race.
The weekend will be filled with more than just racers flashing by. In spots around town and along the course there well be tents set up with race related products, that non-participants can explore. There will be a fun ride for the kids Saturday morning, and the races will be three lengths: 25, 50, and 100 miles. Tim points out that the races are for more than just professional riders, “anybody at any fitness level can participate.” He promises that “anybody who pulls the trigger” (starts the race) will be supported along the way. He adds, “they always cross the finish line with a smile on their face.” Riders aren’t the only people invited to take part, volunteers are needed every day of the event and all along the course. He invites everybody to come and volunteer to be “inside the fence,” promising that all volunteers will have a great day. Centurion also invites local non-profit organizations to take advantage of the event by taking utilizing their Charity Partnership Program. Any charity that organizes a 25-member team can use the race for fund raising, and receive a lot of support from Centurion. Over the years Centurion has earned an excellent reputation for supporting the communities where it holds events.
Centurion was founded by Graham Fraser to promote the sport of cycling. A former Iron Man Triathlon participant and organizer, he was the principal organizer of the Subaru Triathlon. Graham spent years organizing many triathlon events across the US. Over time he was a little less willing to maintain the training discipline needed to engage in the sport, but found that the cycling portion of a triathlon was something he still enjoyed. He found that organizing charity bike races gave him a new direction, and would help raise awareness of cycling the country. Registration and trail maps for the Ellicottville race can be found on their web site centurioncycling.com.
This message was brought to you by the official Newspaper Sponsor of the Centurion Cycling event: The Villager. Cheers!