Knoxiecross No. 1 a fast romp near downtown
Entry updated Feb. 12, 2008 at 9:19 a.m.
Racing cyclocross locally just about rocks.
You don't have to get up at the crack of dawn, in the cold, and drive a few hours to suffer. When the races are local, you can suffer with a few more hours of sleep!
The 2008 Knoxiecross series kicked off yesterday at Morningside park just outside downtown Knoxville, Tenn. There was a good turnout despite rumors the new license-required rule would scatter the locals.
I placed fifth in the mens' CX 3 category on a course that featured a lot of tight transitions and slippery corners thanks to the rainy days prior.
There were 13 racers in my category, which was on par with some of the smaller events of the excellent Mud, Sweat and Gears series. I recognized many of the faces as well, with some of the usual players laying down the top three.
I held off a lot of the competition for the first half of the race only to be passed by Jeremy Chandler, who had a nasty wreck in the first race of MSG that took him out for the rest of the season. Kudos to the swift recovery!
I also wore my heart rate monitor for the first time in a cyclocross race to judge my fitness. The stats were quite amazing:
- Max heart rate attained: 195
- Average heart rate: 185
- Time raced: 49 minutes
- Calories burned: 740
Unfortunately, prizes only go three deep for this series. (Even in the series overall. Suck.)
I'm kind of surprised that in a market with potentially more cyclists the race organizers can't attract the type of sponsors as that of MSG. Cyclocross is the hip culture of cycling at the moment -- you'd think having Nashville, Lexington, Atlanta, Asheville and the Tri-Cities all approximately two hours away would make for a great turnout.
The series has three more events in parks around Knoxville. Check out the dates, and come watch if you're interested in something more exciting than football.