Apr 7, 2023 - Sports

Pro cycling league hosts inaugural race in Miami Beach this weekend

A pack of cyclists in dark blue rides close together

The Miami Nights cycling team will compete Saturday. Photo: Courtesy of the National Cycling League

The brand-new National Cycling League will kick off its inaugural race in Miami Beach on Saturday.

What's happening: 10 teams will compete in races in four cities — next Atlanta, then Denver and finally Washington, D.C. in September — for more than $1 million in prize money.

Why it matters: The new league is testing out a co-ed format designed to value and pay women and men equally.

How it works: "Rather than the traditional 'first one to cross the finish line wins' approach, our scoring system is based on points, so each lap counts, and everyone can score," the NCL website explains.

  • Riders will lap around Ocean Drive, 13th Street, Washington Avenue and Eighth Street.
  • Women will race first, and men follow. All of their points are combined to make up the team's points for the day.
  • All NCL athletes are paid salaries in addition to their winnings at races.

What they're saying: Paris Wallace, founder and CEO of the league, told Axios, "I think 50 riders going 30 to 40 miles an hour, inches apart from each other, doing a sprint finish every three minutes and subbing riders in and out, is going to be an incredibly lively and exciting experience."

If you go: Spectating is free — a fan area opens at noon with a kids' race, BMX stunts and more — but VIP seating is available for $215 per ticket.

  • The pro race begins at 3:45pm and will take about two hours.

Of note: Wallace said that he moved to Coconut Grove from Boston during the COVID pandemic and found an amazing cycling community here.

  • "Any given day you can go out to Key Biscayne at 6:30am and there'll be 1,000 people there … catching up about chisme and having just a fantastic time out there."
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