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Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge attracts Olympians, international, local racers

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Dont miss the 17th-annual Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge taking place July 8, 9 and 10 at Alpenrose Dairy. The event is free. Alpenrose Dairy is gearing up to host the 17th annual Velodrome Challenge this weekend.

The three-day competition, which opens Friday and continues through Sunday at Alpenrose Dairy (6149 S.W. Shattuck Road in Portland), draws cyclists from around the world and the largest velodrome crowd in North America each year. Competitive track cyclists, national and international athletes, Olympians and the best local riders will compete for track records and cash prizes.

The Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge is an unusual spectator event, unique for its caliber of competitors, type of venue and challenging course.

First built in 1962, the bike track was once made out of dirt and was upgraded to concrete in 1965. Known for its distinctive shape, the Alpenrose Velodrome is one of only 25 bicycle racing tracks in the nation and is among the most demanding due to its shape and incline. With corners positioned at a 43-degree angle, racers must maintain a constant speed of 12.5 miles per hour in order to remain upright on the track. In addition to being one of the steepest banked tracks in the nation, the track is also unique because it is made of concrete, while most others are wooden.

“This unique form of racing takes a lot of strength, endurance and guts,” said Charlie Warner, the organizer of the Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge. “Track racing at Alpenrose is pretty exciting, the crowd will not be disappointed.”

Races range from five to 40 minutes in length.

The event is free and open to the public. Food and beverages will be available, as well as cycling attire.

Visit alpenrosechallenge.com for more information.