BY SAM SCINTA WEEKLY REPORTER
O’FALLON – The North Side of O’Fallon hosted the Missouri State Cycling Championships on Saturday morning, bringing almost 500 riders from the bi-state area to compete across 12 different classes. The event, which was hosted in part by Bike Surgeon, was headquartered at Edward Fulton Junior High School.
“This is the ninth time we have hosted the O’Fallon Grand Prix, but this is the first time it has been with the Missouri State Championship on the line for our riders who are native to Missouri,” said race manager Tom Jackson. “We’ve had the Illinois State Championships five times, so this makes six times in nine years that our race has had title implications.”
“A majority of our riders are from Missouri, so it’s really nice that they get to come out here and race for the top prize in their home state,” Jackson told the Weekly. “It’s just been a tremendous event.”
Classes for the races were broken down by gender and by age, with the “racing age” being determined by the oldest a rider is during the current calendar year. The youngest riders had a racing age of nine, while the oldest riders were over fifty.
The full track started on Kyle Road, heading west towards Simmons, then taking place on Bethel, Lemen, and Lemen Settlement. The course continued onto Heck and Lebanon roads before going onto Clay School and Longhi. The riders would then turn onto Kisch and follow it to Liberty and then would merge back onto Lebanon before taking a left on Bowler. Riders would then take Haury onto Weil before taking O’Fallon Troy road to Lincoln and back to Kyle.
The event also caused a temporary closure of Kyle Road from 8 o’clock that morning to about 3 o’clock that afternoon, but notice of the closure was posted with signs along the road for several days leading up to the races.
The O’Fallon Grand Prix was just the second of three events in the Metro East, following the time trials that took place the day before. Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville hosted the final event from 8:30 to 3:00, with those races taking place on a closed off one mile course around the perimeter of the campus.
Jackson wanted to thank USA Cycling, who helped provide officiating services to the event.