Dahlonega, GA.- We are just three days away from the second running of Southern Cross, the Southeast’s only endurance cross race. Loosely based on Iron Cross and the Three Peaks Challenge, the course travels over 55 miles of dirt and pavement and also includes a spectator-friendly non-UCI “cross” course at the beginning and the end of the race. While this year’s course is new, challenges similar to “The Wall” of 2009 will remain. Don’t expect heat in the South this weekend, though. The forecasted highs are in the low 30′s, which will make for some additional challenges for the racers.
“The course is designed to give those on cyclocross bikes an advantage, though we do allow any kind of bike. The dirt roads are pretty smooth, the paved section will be very fast and the cross course will make a separation early.” says co-director Eddie O’Dea of 55nine.
The 2009 overall champion Cameron Cogburn will not be in attendance. However, the Men’s first place title and $500 prize will still be hotly contested. Previous winner of the Iceman Cometh, Mike Simonson (Gary Fisher) is expected to be challenged by several local heavy hitters including Jafer Beizer (Terrapin Beer/Duro Tire,) who took 4th overall at Fool’s Gold 100; elite U23 road racer, Christian Parrett (Moontoast-Tristar); regional XC champion, Thomas Turner (Outspokin’ Bicycles); and local fast man, Nate Sibly (Aaron’s).
Andrea Wilson (Marx and Bensdorf Cycling), 2nd place woman from 2009, is returning in an attempt to take the Women’s 1st place title and $500 prize. This won’t be easy, though, with strong riders such as Lisa Randall (Outspokin’ Bicycles) and Brenda Simril (Motor Mile Racing) fighting for the same prize.
Spectators are encouraged to participate in the festivities this Saturday January 9 in Dahlonega, GA. For more information on the race and for directions visit the race website.Get your free digital issue of Cyclocross Magazine here.