Woody Elliott talks to competitors at the 2010 Nelson County Bike Festival. Credit: blueridgelife.com
It’s hard to imagine, but the Virginia Off Road Series turns seven this spring. If you’re a mountain biker in Virginia, you’ve probably heard about VORS. If not, here’s the thumbnail: VORS was set up in 2008 as a way to encourage mountain bike racing throughout the state. Formerly unaffiliated races all over the Old Dominion joined VORS, and racers could accrue points in their category by racing — and placing — in lots of different races.
Locally, for instance the Urban Assault race that’s part of Dominion Riverrock, offers VORS points for those who do well in their given category. At the at end of the season, champions are crowned and prizes are awarded.
was started by Richmonders Jared Stangl and Woody Elliott, and Elliott continues to carry the torch. This year, he told me, in an effort to encourage more youngsters to race mountain bikes, they’re adding a new event within VORS — the Youth Champion Chase.
As Elliott put it, “We are turning up the heat on youth racing in Virginia!”
It works like this: Grade schoolers will choose a skill level: Beginner, Sport, Singlespeed, Expert or XCAT (Endurance). Then their top 4 VORS race scores will be used to rank them in the VORS Youth Champion Chase.
In addition to their VORS Race Score, these participants will also be ranked on trail advocacy (trail work and other involvement), their GPA based on the end of the 2013-2014 school year, and feedback from our YCC Council. Those that participate will also still be able to win the overall skill level Category too.
“Giant Bicycles will offer helmet vouchers for all that participate in at least 4 VORS races regardless of placing,” Elliott said. “(There will be) Dirt Rag Magazine swag and Starlight Apparel-designed Champion Jerseys and who knows what else as we continue to build.”
I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?