2016 Arizona race calendar expands some weekends to omniums

Arizona’s 2016 road race calendar offers few major changes save for turning two road race weekends into omniums.

What in the past had been a solo weekend for the Hillside Road Race now will be the Skull Valley Omnium with a new crit the second day in Prescott. The Javelina Chase road race in Duncan will expand to a three-day omnium with a time trial and road race the first day and a crit the second day.

A new Marana Heritage Crit will provide a shorter drive for Phoenix riders. The state championship road race and crit will remain the same courses at Bike the Bluff and the Mesa Twilight Crit, respectively.

The North End Classic Crit in Yuma will be a solo event again this year but will not compete with a crit the same weekend in Phoenix.

Allison Alterman (Sabino Cycles) said she was disappointed to see the Yuma race as a standalone event again.

“I was hoping for more of a draw to that venue because I think it’s a great crit and would be benefited by a complementary road race,” Alterman said.

She said it is interesting to see the calendar include crits after the state championship.

“As a crit racer I kind of consider my season to be ‘over’ after crit states so that might change my season if I decide to extend it,” Alterman said.

Zach Mertz (Team Winded) said he likes that the 2016 calendar includes a lot of familiar races with a few new ones to “change up the season.”

“For people who are serious about racing, the addition of more races helps to keep fit and focus for later in the season at large-scale and national-level races,” Mertz said.

ABRA 2016 Road Calendar

Sarah Muench