October 11th , 2012 9:33 am Leave a comment

Elizabethton to host its first cyclo-cross bike race Saturday

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The first cyclo-cross ever in Elizabethton will be held Saturday.

Hosted by the Tri-Cities Road Club, the Mud, Sweat and Gears Cyclo-cross series will make its fifth stop in the eight-race series at Sycamore Shoals.

Racers from around the region will be coming to to race in the Bonnie Kate Cafe’ Cyclo-cross race. Race organizers say about 150 racers are expected to compete.

This is the ninth season of the MSG series, and the first time that Elizabethton has hosted a cyclo-cross race. Cyclo-cross is a mixture of road and mountain biking. The bike looks like a road bike, but has wider, knobby tires like a mountain bike, and brakes like a mountain bike.

Courses are a mixture of grass, pavement, dirt paths, gravel, sand and mud, in any combination. Courses are a minimum of 10 feet wide, 1.6 miles long, and are closed, marked by plastic fence posts and caution tape.

Each race usually has one set of artificial barriers that extend across the course, the barriers are 16’” tall and require most riders to dismount, run across the barriers while carrying the bike, and then remount after crossing the barriers. Some riders are able to “bunny hop” the barriers. Races are 30 to 60 minutes long, depending on the skill level of the racer.

Categories are provided for beginners, Juniors, Masters, and Pro.

The MSG opening weekend is sponsored by: the Bonnie Kate Cafe, Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Site, Sycamore Shoals Hostpital, Piney Flats Bicycles and Fitness, Hampton Trails Bike Shop, Energy Fitness, Alpine Ski Center, and the Tri-Cities Road Club.

Races will begin at 11 a.m. and continue all day. Pro Women race at 12 p.m. and Pro Men at 1:45 p.m..

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