A reader from Germany submitted this local race report of a fun BMX-style twist to cyclocross. The organizers called the event the Cyclocross Eliminator, and it featured heat-based racing similar to that used in BMX. There was even a raised BMX-style start.
by Michael Degenkolb
REICHENBACH, Germany—It’s 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night and the top four riders in the Cyclocross Eliminator Tournament blast off the start line to thunderous applause in the “Park of the Generations.” The voice of announcer Conrad rings out in the park as the last riders standing head out onto the course.
Wheel to wheel, elbow to elbow, the fastest racers from the preliminary rounds dueling up to the finish line. What a show!
The Cyclocross Eliminator Tournament was organized by the Vogtland Bike e.V. and Biehler Sportswear. The result was a successful biking spectacle they are hoping to bring back next year.
The format of the Eliminator was simple, win your heat and advance. Whether hobby bikers or licensees, there were plenty of surprises and all-out sprint strength was important. The quarterfinals and semifinals crystallized the fastest cyclocross drivers for the finals.
The two-kilometer course covered meadow terraces, sandpits, stairs and bridges and unusual wooden obstacles.
The truck crossing, which traversed the rear of a semi-trailer was very popular.
At the end of the day, local Markus Werner from Vogtland Bike e.V. and the ’cross specialist Toni Bretschneider were the top two finishers. In a gripping finish, Bretschneider pushed through to win by a few wheel lengths.
There was unanimous positive feedback from the cyclocross drivers as well as representatives from the city of Reichenbach. The organizers were excited about the success of the event. “A new race, with a new format in a new place is always something special. I think we have done a great job and the great encouragement of the riders confirms us to stick to this format,” said Derrick Schönfelder, who is hoping for a repeat in the coming year.
In the afternoon, the Junior bikers took their turn in the KidsRace. After the day of racing, members of the participating teams helped take down the course. As the excitement from the day still lingered, folks were praiseworthy of the event and already ready to race it again next year.