Tacoma lands pro cyclocross races for Dec. 6-7

Professional cyclocross is coming to Parkland and Lakewood in early December, Tacoma South Sound Sports announced Thursday.

The International Cycling Union-sanctioned Waves for Water Cyclocross Collaboration will be Dec. 6 at Pacific Lutheran University and at Lakewood’s Fort Steilacoom Park on Dec. 7.

Cyclocross, one of the most popular forms of bicycle racing in the Northwest, combines elements of road and mountain biking on courses that can include sand, asphalt, grass, trails and steep hills and obstacles that require riders to dismount and carry their bikes.

The Northwest has long been considered a hotbed for the sport. The Seattle-based Cross Revolution regularly has races in Pierce County.

The Waves for Water race, spearheaded by Seattle-based Low Pressure Promotions, takes the place of the Deschutes Brewery Cup, a Bend, Oregon, race that was canceled recently.

Zac Daab, co-founder of Low Pressure Promotions and the MFG cyclocross series, says a friend with Waves for Water provided the financial title sponsorship. Waves for Water, based in Santa Monica, California, works to take portable water filters to countries that need them, according to the organization’s website.

The two-day event gives racers opportunities to earn points to qualify for the national championships Jan. 7-11 in Austin, Texas. Registration for the race opens Nov. 12 at usacycling.org.

“We are very pleased to be working with Zac and (Low Pressure Promotions co-founder) Terry (Buchanan) to bring back a weekend of UCI cyclocross racing in the Northwest,” Micah Rice, USA Cycling Vice President of National Events, said in a statement. “The UCI has also seen the importance of having these internationally recognized events in this area of the United States and have supported our efforts to move these events to Washington state.”

The PLU race will be called the Liberia Project and the Lakewood race will be called the Nepal Project. Organizers are asking racers to consider making donations along with their race entries to help with efforts to provide clean water in those areas.