Providence Cyclo-cross Festival Launches Weekend Festivities

The transformation of from bucolic urban enclave to gladiatoral arena is complete. The Fourth Annual Providence Festival has taken over WBRU at Brown University, been brought to local school children and graced the airwaves of the Rhode Show on Fox affiliate WPRI.

And the message being shouted from the rooftops-Providence is Divine!

Saturday’s Providence International will be broadcast live at, and hosted by Colt McElwaine and veteran race announcer Larry Longo. The International is set to take place under sunny skies and will see Jeremy s (Rapha-Focus) attempt to continue his early season winning streak. s and Ryan Trebon (Cannondale/ are tied for the lead of the New England Professional series after each taking a win at the Gloucester Gran Prix. Long time rival (Cannondale/ is currently third in the standings. Though not graced with the home field advantage, European strongmen Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles), Joachim Parbo (KCH Leopard) and Nicolas Bazin (BigMat-Auber) are looking to grab the valuable UCI () points which determine starting line placement at events.

The women’s field is motivated by the late breaking news that G-Form, a Providence manufacturer of protective clothing, will be making up the difference in payout for the top three women. Helen Wyman (Kona) has been undefeated in her U.S. campaign and leads the New England Professional Series after sweeping both days one week earlier at the Gran Prix of Gloucester.. But with the prize money and the points on the line, her challengers will be looking to take advantage of any flaw and break her streak. The list of possible candidates is long and includes Gabby Day (Rapha-Focus), Olympic biker Lea Davison (Specialized), Julie Krasniak (Rapha-Focus) and the respective winners of last year’s events () and (Kenda-Seven).

Sunday will see the course re-designed and the possibility of a wet, cold, muddy picture perfect race.

And if during the weekend hunger or thirst strike, the infield is the place to be. Harpoon returns as host of the beer tent, which opens at 11am both days and will be serving up seasonal brews. Local culinary artisans are on hand with a flotilla of food trucks offering Mijos Tacos, La Strada Wood Fired Pizza, Preppy Pig BBQ and Bad Kat Kupkakes’ liquor infused treats. The bouncy castle is inflated and the Kim Fries Memorial Kids Cross Race takes place at 2pm on Sunday.

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Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

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