Racing to Exhale



Article Published: Jul. 29, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Racing to Exhale


The Exhale Race Weekend will feature two days of USA Cycling-sanctioned criterium bicycle racing at the Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway on Aug. 21 and 22.

Cyclists from across the nation will have the chance to race on the famed track, which has a growing reputation as one of the most exciting cycling venues in the Southeast, a spokesperson for the event said.

The Exhale Race Weekend will feature 15 races each day, with separate categories for beginners, kids, women, masters, and pros, competing for $5,000 in cash prizes.

"Pirate Race Productions is excited to be partnering with the Wilkesboro Tourism Development Authority to give cyclists another great opportunity to come to Wilkes and take their breath away," says Pirate Race Productions founder Andrew Stackhouse. "Criterium racing is to the Tour de France, as stock car racing is to a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway."

'Crits,' as they are usually called, are fast and furious races, with packs of riders shoulder to shoulder as they tear around the track. Races last from 20 minutes for the beginner categories to 60 minutes for the pros, so you do not need a ton of training to have fun or be competitive, the spokesperson said.

Often held in town centers, crits are designed to be spectator friendly, and the Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway offers views of the entire course. Furthermore, cyclists are challenged by its notorious rise on the back stretch, tight turns, and persistent wind, allowing the races to play out like a traditional four-corner city course.

Best of all, this event provides a rare opportunity for racers and spectators to lounge in the infield throughout the weekend, and get personal with the track Benny Parsons and Junior Johnson made famous, the spokesperson said.

The Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway offers amateur racers and weekend warriors a chance to experience a taste of life in the pro peloton, the spokesperson said. The venue features a great racing surface, covered parking, clean bathrooms with showers in the Racer's Lounge, and vendors on-site serving healthy and delicious meals and snacks. It makes NWS a fun place to race, and a great place to bring family and friends to cheer you on.

Registration for the races is now open at BikeReg.com. Those who register by July 31 get unlimited racing all weekend for $40. Online registration will then be $25 per race, and $30 day -of. Beginner Women and Junior races are $15. There is no cost for spectators.

Racers can also sign up at the NWS Crit Series, a biweekly, after-work cycling series that draws upwards of 80 cyclists of all ages and abilities from throughout the Piedmont and High Country.
Three races remain in the NWS Crits Series: July 28, and Aug. 11 and 25.

For more information about the event, including sponsorship opportunities contact race director Andrew Stackhouse at (andrew@pirateraceproductions.com) or go to http://www.nwscycling.com/

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