Randy Angel

Reverse direction gives cyclists a new challenge at Chevron MB Grand Prix

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Racers will have a new challenge Sunday at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix with the course being reversed this year. Photo by Ray Vidal

by Randy Angel

The 56th Annual Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix returns on Sunday, July 30 but with a new twist. The 1.3-mile course on Valley Drive and Ardmore Avenue, which starts and finishes at Live Oak Park, will be raced counter-clockwise instead of the usual clockwise direction.

“Over the last few years, many riders suggested we reverse the direction on the course,” Race Director Greg Aden said. “With the change of dynamics it will give the top five or six riders a better opportunity to win.”

The Men’s Pro race will feature 2016 champion Justin Williams and multiple MBGP champion Rahsaan Bahati.

With a total cash purse of $21,500, the eight-race event begins at 7 a.m. with the Cat 4 race sponsored by Sprocket Cycles.

Ensuing races (including sponsors) are Masters 50-60+ 1-4 (Charles Schwab – Lane Reid, 7:45 a.m.), Cat 3-4 (Basset Hound Rescue So. Cal. 8:30 a.m.), Junior 15-18 Cat 1-4 (CalBikeLaw, 9:15 a.m.), 40+ 1-3 (Mitsubishi Motors, 10:10 a.m.), Cat 3 (Hermosa Cyclery, 11:05 a.m.), Kids’ Races (Janelle Holden, DDA, 12 p.m.), Women’s Pro 1-3 + State Championship (Chevron, 1 p.m.) and Men’s Pro 1-2 + SoCal Cup Final (Chevron, 2 p.m.).

Founded by Ted Ernst in 1961, the event is co-sponsored the South Bay Wheelmen Foundation, a charitable organization supporting amateur cycling competition at all levels. The annual event continues to grow with vendors increased by 25 percent and sponsorship up nearly 20 percent.

The Chevron Kids’ Zone has also grown this year. It is for kids 2-12 years and includes free t-shirts, games, face painting, temporary tattoos, color hair spray, balloon animals, photo booth, hot dogs, cookies and drinks.

The popular Community Kids bicycle race, which allows everything from tricycles and strider cycles to pre teen groups, includes a goodie bag and an award medal for each participant.

Adult/junior entry fees are $35 ($45 for pro divisions) and $10 for Kids’ Races (race-day registration begin at 8:30 a.m.)

For more information or to register, visit mbgp.com.

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