PARK CITY, Utah (July 18, 2013) Jonathan Page is an American cyclo-cross legend who lives and races mostly in Belgium. Ben Berden is a Belgian cyclo-cross legend who lives and races mostly in America.
In a rare high-mountain showdown, Page and Berden will both race on Thursday, July 25 at the Raleigh Midsummer Nights Cyclocross held at DealerCamp. Several other top pros are expected to compete in this season-opener. Category races start at 4 pm. The Elite Women race at 6:30 pm and the Elite Men start off at 7:30 pm. The event is free for spectators. Races are open to categor 3/4 men and women, singlespeed men and women, bike industry, and elite men and women. Registration details are below.
“This is the time of the year a cyclo-cross racer has to start sharpening the training, prepping the equipment, and adding a lot of intensity to your riding,” said Page, a New England native who has won four elite men’s national titles, the latest in Wisconsin in January. “This event will definitely crack my legs open.”
“We’re electrified to have Jonathan racing in Utah,” said Sean Condon, event director. “Americans rarely get a chance to watch him race in the states. And with his national championship jersey, we get to find out about his equipment and sponsors for this season.”
Page’s career has run parallel with an amazing surge in both the popularity and achievements of American cyclo-cross racing. “When I started in the 1990s cyclo-cross was such a small sideshow of cycling,” said Page. “We would be happy to get 100 racers out for a whole day of events. Now we get 1,000. And the crowds are huge.”
Likewise the surging popularity of ‘cross racing has fueled sales for ‘cross bikes. Since 2005, the number of American race dates in cyclo-cross has climbed 255 percent, outpacing all other cycling disciplines in rate of growth.
Page has seen American ‘cross ambitions climb from hoping to finish on the same lap of major races to reaching the podium of the top UCI events, World Cups and World Championships. Page himself became the only American to reach the podium of the elite men’s world championships in 2007, the year that Americans Katie Compton and Danny Summerhill also won silver in the women’s and junior races.
Page won his first elite title in 2002 and followed that up with wins in 2003 and 2004, making him seem untouchable in the sport. But as American races, sponsors, and racers improved, Page endured an eight-year drought until winning in 2013.
To hone his skills Page has spent the bulk of his cyclo-cross seasons in Belgium, where he receives handsome start fees to compete against the world’s best.
In contrast, Ben Berden grew up in Belgium and became a superstar of the sport. Famous for his ability to race in deep sand, Berden has won three times at Koksijde, one of the most fabled Belgian race venues that hosts a World Cup. But Berden moved to the United States, where he enjoys the rising popularity of ‘cross. He has become a fan favorite here scoring countless podium finishes.
To register for the race, visit www.bikereg.com. For more information about DealerCamp 2013, please visit www.bikedealercamp.com.
Hosted by DealerCamp, the Raleigh Midsummer Nights Cyclocross is an Eleven Event Services production. With a combined 75 years of experience promoting, covering, and producing cycling events, the principals of Eleven Event Services have worked at the professional, major league, Olympic, and international level of sports. For more information on DealerCamp, visit www.bikedealercamp.com.