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Singlespeed Cyclo-cross 'World Championships' - NE
Oregon, USA , November 11, 2007
Wicks, Williams win single speed 'cross 'worlds'
By Matt Karre
What happens when you combine a World Championship event, 6 kegs of Pabst Blue Ribbon, a limitless supply of Oregon made microbrews, 110 men and 30 women, a heckling contest, a Tequila shortcut and a golden Speedo? You get the Single Speed Cyclo-cross World Championships (SSCXWC) in Portland, Oregon. What else?
Adam Craig let the powerful spirit of Portland cyclo-cross overwhelm him in the finishing straight of the SSCXWC. With an apparent race winning lead, Craig stopped to take a beer hand-up a couple hundred meters before the finish line. In his celebration of Single Speed Cyclo-cross, a charging Barry Wicks snuck by Craig before he could get clipped in. Wicks pipped him at the line, taking the coveted inaugural golden World Champion Speedo.
"The 'Cross scene in Portland is the best. I've raced all over the world and nothing compares. I always come back for Portland," Wicks said after the race.
The action at the finish, however, pales in comparison to the rest of the event.
Saturday saw perhaps the first ever time trial qualifying event for a cyclo-cross race. While the promise of mud never materialized, the residual tackiness and challenging run-ups made for exciting racing. Perhaps even more exciting were the festivities surrounding and during the race including karaoke, a Best Heckler competition, a Single Speed lounge with food and drink and a PBR beer tent. Ryan Trebon posted the fasted time for the boys and Wendy Williams won the women's time trial.
Later that afternoon, Carl Decker and Adam Craig took to the Karaoke stage and performed a rendition of Britney Spears' classic 'Hit me baby one more time' that will not soon be forgotten.
Sunday saw the big race and while the top three might not be a surprise to some, the antics on the course were truly unprecedented. As usual, the time trial placing determined each racer's position at the start line. But when race promoter Dani Dance said "everyone turn your bikes around!" the hierarchy was quickly reversed. Trebon, Wicks, Craig, Carl Decker and many other top qualifiers now had to make their way through the 100-strong field from the back.
On the first lap, Decker, Trebon, Craig and Wicks found the front and created a gap followed by Matthew Slaven and Ian Brown at 10 seconds. Things seemed to be pretty run-of-the-mill cyclo-cross race until a unique shortcut presented itself. Go through the River City Bicycles Tequila shortcut and skip a good 20 seconds of the course. The only caveat is that if you pass through the shortcut you must take a shot of tequila. If you don't take a shot, a World of War Craft expertly trained paintball sniper would quickly execute the consequences. The end result: everyone cheated. Only a few were hit with paintballs.
"The tequila shortcut is by far the best addition to a cross race ever," stated one mid-pack racer. The shortcut was removed for the final few laps.
Throughout the race, the heckling competition was blowing full steam even resulting in an impromptu and definitely unwanted game of dodge ball involving some unknowing racers. No one was safe. The crowd was massive; some industry folks say the turnout surpassed that of Cross Vegas, if not in number than certainly in jubilance.
"The crowds were a huge factor in getting up that run-up," claimed top qualifier Ryan Weaver of Portland. "I thought I was winning! The louder it was the less it hurt." Others agreed, and for a first time event the turnout was staggering.
"This is the biggest crowd I've ever seen for a cross race," Dave Guettler of River City Bicycles said. "It's bigger than the Interbike race." Many congregated in the Bike Gallery Beer Garden, which, unfortunately, ran out of beer after six kegs and several dozen cases.
Many racers donned non-traditional kits, including Adam Craig's track pants, no shirt and a helmet from the early '90's, Tina Brubaker in not much more than underwear, Bridgette Stoick wore a tube top made of inner tubes, a member of the band KISS, a Team BEER mascot and numerous other ridiculous costumes.
At the end of the day in the Eclectic Home sponsored Single Speed Lounge, the first ever World Champion of Single Speed Cyclo-cross was crowned, or Speedo-ed, and awarded his custom SpeedVagen from Vanilla Bicycles. In true shameless 'cross fashion, Wicks changed into his Golden Speedo with World Champion stripes while on the podium. Women's winner Wendy Williams did the same into her World Champion bikini and received a custom cyclo-cross frame from Ahearne Cycles.
Very notable performances came from local racers Tim Jones, who placed 4th and Ryan Weaver in 5th, who did everything to hang with the pros and round out the podium. Both have been dominant this season in the 'Cross Crusade' single speed races.
The general vibe from the all who participated was one of gratitude toward the incredible crowd. This was likely the most crowd interactive cyclo-cross race in history and Portland truly lived up to its infectious 'cross obsession. If you missed it this year, start planning for next November.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Carson Blume/www.carsonblume.com
Women 1 Wendy Williams (River City Bicycles) 2 Emily Vanmeter (River City Bicycles) 3 Sue Butler (River City Bicycles) 4 Laurel Gitlen (Gentle Lovers) 5 Melissa Sanborn (Wenzel Coaching) 6 Alice Pennington (Desalvo Custom Cycles Racing) 7 Kate Scheider (FTS/North Atlantic Velo) 8 Bridgette Stoick (River City Bicycles) 9 Tina Brubaker (Vanilla Bicycles) 10 Linda Eckhart (Visenka/Desalvo) 11 Megan Weaver (River City Bicycles) 12 Colleen Flaherty (FTS) 13 Betsy Platt (River City Bicycles) 14 Sarah Sturdy (Tireless Velo) 15 Colleen Mcclellahan (Sorella Forte) 16 Alix Kerl (Surly) 17 Sarah Tisdale (Sorella Forte/Specialized) 18 Kendra Wenzel (Wenzel Coaching) 19 Jennifer Schweitzer (Eddy Merkin) 20 Jennifer Herald (Eddy Merkin) 21 Elicia Cardenas (Veloshop) 22 Kate Weck (River City Bicycles) 23 Tacia Miller (Cyclepath) 24 Holly Kotsovos (Tireless Velo) 25 Danielle Booth Men 1 Barry Wicks (Kona) 2 Adam Craig 3 Ryan Trebon (Kona) 4 Tim Jones (WebCyclery.com) 5 Ryan Weaver (River City Bicycles) 6 Matthew Slaven (Kona) 7 Tommy Tuite (Veloshop) 8 Ian Brown (River City Bicycles) 9 Davie Yeater (River City Bicycles) 10 John Walrod (River City Bicycles) 11 Carl Decker (Giant) 12 Peter Zlatnik (Bike Gallery) 13 Geoff Huber (Life Cycle Bike Shop/Kona) 14 Steve Wasmund (Cutthroat Racing) 15 Dylan Vanweelden (Yakima Bike Vigilantes) 16 Jeff Curtes 17 Scott Ramsey (Vanilla Bicycles) 18 Kevin Stroede (Vanilla Bicycles) 19 Louie Fountain 20 Matthias Behrends (Sycip Racing) 21 Erik Tonkin (Team S&M) 22 Nat Pellman 23 Chuck Warrington (Artisan Family Racing) 24 Bryce Young (Bingham's) 25 Jake Rosenfeld 26 Brad Urban (Veloshop) 27 Wille Yli-Luoma 28 Churchill Scott (Desalvo Custom Cycles Racing) 29 John Rollert (WebCyclery.com) 30 Joshua Hutchens (Cyclepath) 31 John Mccaffrey (bicycleattorney.com) 32 Keven Mowen (Rivendell) 33 Joel Grover (Bike Gallery) 34 Brian Nilsson (Yakima Products/Super Relax) 35 Johnny Vergis (Cyclepath) 36 Drew Kinney (Team Wreck) 37 Brian Fornes (K.I.S.S.) 38 Paolo Dabbeni (Italia) 39 Andrew Yee (Cyclocross Magazine) 40 Tony Tapay (Showers Pass) 41 John Dorfer (Veloshop) 42 Jack Fraser (Team Slacker) 43 David Bisers (Veloshop) 44 Jess Graden (Veloshop) 45 Ryan Richardson (CBC Racing/KISS Kross) 46 Isaac Harris (Veloshop) 47 David German (Sunset Cycles) 48 Edwin Brown (Artisan Family Racing) 49 Brian Schultz (Existential Velo) 50 Mike Curtes (Big Ring Racing) 51 Dirty Dave (Team Rubicon/Orbea) 52 Jim Miller (Cyclepath) 53 Dan Cheever (Evil) 54 Clint Culpepper (Team Beer) 55 Brian Flaherty (KISSKross) 56 Jeff Standish (Therapeutic Associates Inc. Cycling) 57 Joe Partridge (Founder's Ales) 58 Scott Calrk (Visenka) 59 Brian Garretson (Veloshop) 60 Ryan Ferro 61 Timothy Mason (PDX-FXD) 62 Drew Ross 63 William Clanton 64 Andrew Wilson (Veloshop) 65 Sacha White (Vanilla Bicycles) 66 Inglis/Brooks (Inglis/Retrotec) 67 Chris Wells (sycip/retrotec) 68 Andy May (Challenged Athletes Foundation) 69 Brian Ellin (race.cx) 70 Mike Hilbrandt (Pereira Cycles) 71 John Howe (Team Beer) 72 Jim Jonke 73 Boone Tompkins (BMF) 74 Tad Bamford (Veloshop) 75 Jacob Furnace (Eddy Merkain) 76 Chris Distefano DNF Andy Mckerrow (Bike Gallery) DNF Doug Moak DNF Paul Anderson (Half Fast Velo) DNF Paul Laak (woodlawn Velo) DNF Tim Butler (River City Bicycles) DNF Ryan Miller (Cutthroat Racing/Singlephile) DNF David Ross DNF Pat Schott (Black Market Racing) DNF Dan Peterson (byrne invent/jet city velo)