Knoxiecross No. 4 closes CX season on a climb
Entry updated Feb. 25, 2008 at 3:45 p.m.
Mountain bikes can be effective in cyclocross races. Especially one with a massively steep slog that shot my heart rate in the 190s.
Luc Whitaker, the CX3 winner of the fourth and final race in the 2008 Knoxiecross series, donned knobby tires and front-suspension to clean the aforementioned hill on every lap. I, on the other hand, stuck with the less-effective tactic of shouldering my stead and hoofing it.
And I especially like the plaque, Hydrapack and Hammer Gel I received for my efforts. Not bad for my first year in CX3!
Patrick Beeson crests the top of one of many hilly sections on the fourth and final race of the 2008 Knoxiecross series. Beeson competed in the mens CX3 category in this event, which was held at West Knoxville's Melton Hill Park. He finished 3rd.
Credit: Nick L/zeptogram (on Flickr)
The Melton Hill Park course featured more climbing than the previous race, also held at Melton Hill. Fortunately, the course designer allowed a fast recovery loop after the hill. A spritz of rain right before the combined CX1,2,3 race made for slick corners that deepened with each lap.
This was my first time racing the Knoxiecross series, which appears to have a devoted following for area cyclists. If given the chance, I would improve the following areas for next year:
- Build a dedicated Web site for posting race updates and results (I can offer advice here if contacted)
- Keep the TBRA/USA Cycling connection
- Lower the entry fees or increase the prize-list/payouts
- Make courses more cyclocross specific, with additional barriers
- Hold the races on consecutive weekends rather than every-other weekend
- Move the races to be back-to-back with the Mud, Sweat and Gears series
Most of these suggestions are based on my attendance at the Mud, Sweat and Gears series in the Tri-Cities area. Not only do they offer more races (six), but they also have a Web site, offer cheaper entry fees and bigger prizes. And they donate the revenue to charity after expenses.
I found it a bit odd that the Knoxiecross results were posted to the KnoxvilleCycling forum rather than to the Highland-Adventures Web site where the flyer is posted. This made it frustrating for new-to-Knoxville folks like myself to find out how we did.
I know that race director John Baker wants to ditch the TBRA/USA Cycling connection because of the hassles with regulations and other formalities. But I think it's essential to drawing talent from cities throughout the state and region. Also, this makes official how racing classes are broken up.
Again, I really enjoyed my experience in Knoxiecross this year. I think that with a few tweaks it could be made more popular, and fun, for the 2009 season.