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SAULT STE. MARIE, ONTARIO - August 9, 2019 (LSN) Mountain bike racers from across North America are returning to Sault Ste. Marie this month. Crank the Shield is taking place from August 16 to 18. The multi-day cycling odyssey is expected to attract hundreds of participants and visitors.
Crank the Shield features three stages that take riders on challenging and picturesque terrain through the Algoma region.
Crank the Shield features a unique start. On Day 1, competitors will take the Agawa Canyon Tour Train to Batchawana Station. From there, they’ll embark on an 80-kilometre cycling voyage to Stokely Creek Lodge. The second day offers a 45-kilometre course that starts and ends at the lodge. On Day 3, the course will take riders on a 65-kilometre journey from Stokely Creek Lodge to the finish line at Kinsmen Park in Sault Ste. Marie.
Hosted by Chico Racing and Superfly Racing, Crank the Shield has been taking place in Ontario for more than a decade. The event is held in or near the Canadian Shield. Since 2018, organizers have been holding the race in the Sault Ste. Marie area.
“The Algoma region features natural beauty and perfect terrain for Crank the Shield,” said Sean Ruppel, President of Superfly Racing. “This event provides a unique experience to riders from Canada and the United States. It offers some of the best and most rewarding days that participants will experience on a bike.”
Crank the Shield is being supported by Destination Northern Ontario. The race was secured by the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. The organization, through its Tourism Sault Ste. Marie division, works to draw visitors. One of its tactics is attracting and supporting sports tournaments, conferences and other events.
“Not only does Crank the Shield draw hundreds of visitors for multiple days, it also promotes our community as a prime destination for cycling tourists,” said Alana Kenopic, Manager of Sports Tourism & Special Events for the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. “Cycling tourism is a lucrative sector, which is why we’re also working with partners to develop the biking trail system throughout our region.”
To view route maps, or for details on registration and other information, visit www.cranktheshield.com. Organizers are currently seeking volunteers to help facilitate the event. To get involved, or to learn more, email [email protected].
PHOTO: Competing cyclists depart from the starting line of the 2018 Crank the Shield race in the Algoma region.