Northwest Arkansas rocks for many different reasons...one of which is the Joe Martin Stage Race. Here is a brief description of this event which takes place in and around Fayetteville every year during Mother's Day weekend:
The Joe Martin Stage Race is part of the National Race Calendar (NRC) which is the pro and elite amateur cycling tour of USA Cycling. USA Cycling is the national governing body of cycling operating under the United States Olympic Committee. More than $50,000 in cash and over $10,000 in merchandise will be given away over the four-day, four event Pro/Elite category and 2-day, 3-stage amateur category races. Over 700 athletes from 19 countries and more than 45 states attend the race.
This year I went down with friends to watch the Criterium on Sunday which is the last event of the stage race. The pros race for 90 minutes on a loop course that is 1.4 miles of tight turns, fast downhills, and uphill climbs. It is really neat to watch the line of pros navigate the course... especially the turns where the smell of brake pads tends to fill the air and carnage is sure to be seen at least once or twice. We were still finishing lunch when the pro race started but had a good view of one turn from our table at US Pizza. As typical, the service was slow...but the food was good. We had to beg for some crackers and ranch to tide us over while we waited for our orders!
|Sorry, their yellow shoes were cracking me up! |
Especially since most of this team was wearing red socks.
|Floyd Landis working to catch the breakaway.|