Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships Returns to Portland
By Matt Karre
The premier event for single speed cyclocross enthusiasts returns to Portland this November. A weekend of racing dedicated solely to those who race with a sole gear, Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC) gathers top-level racers from across the country to compete for the top prize in this category.
Held the weekend of November 8 and 9, the race kicks of with a qualifying time trial that remains top secret, only announced the morning of the event to keep the playing field level. All qualifiers will return Sunday at Portland International Raceway (PIR) for the championship race and general cyclocross mayhem.
This year, returning reigning champions Barry Wicks and Wendy Williams have obligations to fill before they can step up to the start line. Each winner must present his/her championship tattoo before registering. Wendy Williams completed her ink job on Wednesday of this week.
It remains to unknown if Barry Wicks has expressed the pride and glory expected from such a champion.
Continuing the long and prestigious one-year tradition of SSCXWC, the event epitomizes maverick in a way the Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin could never imagine. While one can see Washington from the race course and most rules of cyclocross racing remain firm, this race has created its own rules and regulations, be it starting positions, qualifications, course routing and obstacles, or prizes. Expect the unexpected. Precedents do not apply.
The weekend will be filled with all kinds of cyclocross racing. The Cross Crusade, the world’s premier cyclocross series, holds a race at PIR on Sunday November 9. It will truly be a festival. At the end of it all, two single speed champions will be crowned. A custom frame from Vanilla Bicycles/Speedvagen awaits the men’s winner and a Tony Pereira frame for the women’s champion.
Qualifying – It’s half the Fun!
The only rule of the weekend is that all racers must use bikes with only one gear and brakes. But promoters have allowed folks to tape shifters down or lock derailleurs into one gear with a piece of cable and limit screws, so don’t let your bike stop you from entering. But to get to the main event start line, everyone must first qualify the day before.
Saturday, November 8 will see perhaps the most unique event in cycling. A top secret qualifying race for the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships, the course and its demands must satisfy the stringent requirements of a world class race and then turn it on its head, spin wheelies around it and plunge it into the eerie depths of human creativity and single speed cyclocross.
Through out sport, many events use qualifiers to limit the field to the best of the best, the true elite. Running and swimming often use qualifying races identical to the final rounds. Similar championship finalists are determined in track cycling and professional curling. But much in the same way that single speed cyclocross is different, so to must be its events. To qualify for this final event, each racer must race against the toughest opponents of all: him/herself and the clock.
The only two pieces of information disclosed about the qualifier, aside from the date and that it is in Portland, are that it will be a time trial format and each racer must use the same BIKE as in the final race. Be sure to show up to the race in top physical fitness but do not make the mistake of neglecting the mind. Keep your wits about you and remember what you learned in grade school. This is your brain on single speed cyclocross.
Qualifying event is to be held in Portland at an undisclosed location. All registrants will be notified of the meeting place for Saturday morning at which time the course information will be disclosed. All qualifiers will have the chance to race for the title on Sunday at Portland International Raceway.
Pre-register, so you get the 411. All registration and important information can be found at the event’s website www.sscxwc.com.
Cyclocross Magazine is a proud sponsor of SSCXWC.