Bicycling goes to 'Hell'
The Hell of the High Country is coming!
No, this is not a new horror movie set in Boone and starring Andrew "Dice" Clay and Paris Hilton.
The Hell of the High Country, otherwise known as Boone-Roubaix, is an upcoming bike race which, nevertheless, could prove scary to those not up to the challenge.
"We modeled the Boone-Roubaix after the Paris-Roubaix, which is known as 'The Hell of the North,'" event organizer Andrew Stackhouse said. "It's unique and difficult, but a fun challenge for cyclists."
The Hell of the High Country will take place on April 3, and will begin at the Boone fairgrounds, off of U.S. 421.
Registration opens at 8:30 a.m., with staging by category beginning at 9:45 a.m. Racing begins at 10 a.m. for competition in the Grand Parcours, which features a 70-mile loop, with 19 of those miles unpaved. The course contains seven defining (very difficult) climbs, five unpaved. The Grand Parcours has a 150-rider limit, and is designated for Pro men and women, as well as categories 1 and 2 for both men and women and category 3 for men.
The second race, called the Petit Parcours, begins at 10:10 a.m. and is a 37-mile loop race that features 10 miles unpaved. The course contains three defining climbs, two unpaved, and all situated above 3,000 feet. The Petit Parcours is open for category 3 and 4 women, and category 4 and 5 men, as well as one-day license holders. The mass start event will feature separate scoring by category and by gender. A USA Cycling license is required. A one-day license is available for $10.
All net proceeds from the event benefit Wine To Water's Haiti Emergency Fund, and Stackhouse said he hopes to raise $1,000 for the cause.
Stackhouse, owner of Pirate Race Productions, which is presenting the event, said planning for the event began this past summer, with thoughts of eventually hosting one of the biggest one-day races in the Southeastern United States.
The Boone-Roubaix will be one of the first USA Cycling Gran Fondo races to ever be held. Gran Fondo is a new type of race permitted by USA Cycling. The race will have two moto officials on the course, with two more officials at the finish.
"A Gran Fondo competitive event is more of a middle ground type of race," Stackhouse said. "It's a less intimidating entry point into racing. While the High Country has a huge number of avid cyclists, few ever participate in USAC races. The Gran Fondo format made the race economically viable, and will hopefully allow us to raise a lot of money for the Wine To Water Haiti Emergency Fund. Finally, the Carolina Cycling Association has assured us they will count Gran Fondo results in a request for a category upgrade."
Registration, which began on Feb. 8, is $20 until March 1 and $25 through April 1. Registration on April 3 is $30. To register online, go to http://www.booneroubaix.com and follow the link to BikeReg.com. The fields are limited to 100 for the Petit Parcours and 150 for the Grand Parcours.
For more information, or if you would like to volunteer, e-mail to (firstname.lastname@example.org)