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Cyclocross comes to Natchez

NATCHEZ — Cyclist from all over Louisiana and Mississippi will be coming to Natchez Saturday to compete in the championship of the Delta State Grand Prix of Cyclocross.

Cyclocross is a form of bicycle racing that takes place on a circuit that consist of pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount.

Race director Weston McWhorter said Natchez is the final stop and the championship is a five-location series of the Delta State Grand Prix cyclocross.

“We’ve raced in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Jackson and Monroe, La.,” he said. “We came to Natchez because we wanted to take racers all around Mississippi and Louisiana and put them in a place that was centrally located within our district.”

And the best place in Natchez for a cyclocross race is none other than Duncan Park.

Cyclists from all over the region will fill up the golf course but McWhorter said a big part of cyclocross events is the spectators as well.

“It’s held in the fall and winter months and it’s really known for a festive atmosphere that surrounds the races,” McWhorter said. “It’s an outdoor party that happens to have a bike race.

“The spectators bring their own personalities to these events, people come in costumes, people bring their pets and people will bring drinks and it’s a tailgate type of atmosphere.”

With the final race being the championship, McWhorter said there will be cash prizes available for the first, second and third place winners of both the men and women in the elite category.

“For the championships we’re doubling the pay outs for the elite men and women in the pro 1-2-3 category and they’ll get $100 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third for those who win the race,” McWhorter said. “All other categories will be getting medals. We’re also giving away overall champion jerseys to riders in every category. Those are riders who have been most consist throughout the series.”
The event will last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Duncan Park.