303Cycling talks to Centurion Cycling

Follow up to a press release made a few months ago on planned centurion events in Boulder
Recently 303Cycling caught up with Jason Sumner at Centurion Cycling about the events this summer. Stay tuned to 303cycling as they release more information on their event next week and also if you are interested in doing the event then check out some training plans that Boulder Sport Medicine coach, Neal as prepared for the event

[303Cycling] Is a centurion the "spork" of cycling events? It's not a race, it's not typical century ride, how would you describe it?

[Jason] I really like this analogy. Put another way, we like to think of ourselves akin to the New York City Marathon of cycling. Thousands of people line up, but many have distinctly different goals. Racers race. Riders ride. Everyone has fun.

Most riders at the front of our events will be serious amateur racers. They have a racing license. They’re on a club team. They train 10-15 hours a week, and they’ll be racing to win, or at least do well in their age-group category (we are only doing age group categories, not traditional Cat. 1, 2, 3 etc. Your entry covers insurance.)

A little further back in the field will be the serious cycling enthusiast. They probably ride a lot, but don’t consider themselves racers. Their goals are more self-centered, they want to do the best time they can do, but are less concerned with those around them — save beating a buddy or two.

Further back is the charity ride graduate. They’ve done their share of non-competitive 100-milers, and are now looking for a greater challenge, with a larger group dynamic. Instead of the start when you feel like it M.O., they want to experience riding in a large group, 2000-3000 people. Instead of just finishing, they want to know what their time was (and how their friends did), and then try to improve on it in the coming years. This is in part why all our event distances are standardized. Whether it's Centurion Colorado, Wisconsin or Canada, each event has a 25-mile race/ride on Saturday, and 50 and 100-mile events run concurrently on Sunday. That allows competitors to compare times event to event, and year to year, and strive for improvement.

Finally furthest back on the road are those people somewhat new to cycling, who are simply riding to have fun and finish their Centurion Cycling event. They’ll ride with friends, take their time at the aid stations, and just like a first-time marathon runner, be extremely proud simply to have finished. They are attracted to an event such as ours because of the professional management, spectacular courses, controlled roads, and weekend long festival and expo. And that’s the real beauty of Centurion Cycling events. They truly do offer something for every kind of cyclist.

[303Cycling] route, I don't see a map of the route on your website, has the route been defined and approved by the local and state officials yet?

[Jason] Route maps to be released next week.

[303Cycling] centurions, Fondos, Supercorsa.... is this new format the next big thing in cycling? What sparked your imagination to try an event like this?

[Jason] Clearly there is a lot of interest in European gran fondo concept right now, though not all are the same. Many of the new U.S. events are billing themselves as "not a race." This is actually a departure from the Euro events, which definitely have a competitive element. Centurion Cycling is embracing this competitive element, while at the same time providing a place for those who aren't quite ready to suffer like a dog in a rotating paceline, and instead just want a safe, enjoyable experience

[303Cycling] How much in event support will you provide (aid stations, clothing bags, etc.)

[Jason] Centurion Cycling events will be first class start to finish. We'll have numerous aid stations all along the course, mechanical and medical support, lots of prizes and giveaways, a sprawling finishline festival and expo, etc. A good analogy here are Ironman events. Centurion's owner/founder is Graham Fraser, who essentially launched the Ironman craze and at one time owned/operated nine Ironman events. His edict with Centurion is to replicate the professionalism and big-time experience that was ever-present at Ironman events


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