The juniors sprint it out at MSG. ©Bart Nave

Andy Applegate prepares for the dive. ©Bart Nave

2009 Mud Sweat and Gears opened with the City of Kingsport, TN pulling out all the stops to make our first race at  Domtar the biggest ever. Not just a cross race but a cross event!

With the largest fields ever for MSG and cyclocross in the state of Tennessee, this years series opener had an army of CX’ers both days, 168 entries on Saturday and 147 on Sunday This is a long way from MSG’s first race way back in October of 2004 having only 52 entries. This is a year of firsts for MSG, new venue at Domtar Park in Kingsport, TN and the first-ever flyover in the region “Brewer’s Brug”. Vendor row was another first with three local shops in attendance, as well as national level companies, Lynskey, Chris King, and Chattanooga based Multisport Direct. Another first, Bonefire Barbecue and New Belgium beer, serving up some of the best southern BBQ and New Belgium brew. Topping it all off was live music Saturday night.

Prizes were aplenty. We raffled a Redline Conquest frame, courtesy of Piney Flats Bicycles. There will be three more frames given away over the remainder of the series, two more Redlines, and a Lynksey Pro Cross! We also gave Cyclocross Magazine subscription primes to three fields, On Saturday a hot lap prime for the fist lap in the women’s CX 4 field won by, Golden Moore of Lenoir, NC. On Sunday we primed the juniors 10-14 and 15-18 for the first rider across the line from the start area 1/4 mile away, 10-14 rider Levi Marland took the prize and the race, along with 15-18 rider Jeremiah Dyer taking the prime for his category and the race. He also finished on the other end of the CX3  field from me taking 3rd in that race.

The course being nearly flat was a real power course, two miles long, lots of long stretches in grass, pavement and an assortment of tight turns, some off camber and short run-ups on the middle section. The course was a challenge but was loved by all – very similar to a lot of the European courses.

On Day 1, Will Black took the Men’s Pro/1/2 (Crosstown Velo/Renaissance Bicycles) over Cannondale’s Travis Livermon and Nathanael Wyatt (Carolina Fatz/ Santa Cruz/Industry Nine) while in the women’s race, Deb Sweeny-Whitmore (BMW/Bianchi) grabbed a victory over Jessica Ingram and Kim Bishop.

On Day 2, the podium’s stars remained the same in the men’s race, but with the top two positions reversed with Livermon taking revenge. But in the women’s race, Carla Swart (Lip Smacker) and Elizabeth Frye (Boone Velo) emerged to unseat the previous day’s podium, with only Jessica Ingram remaining, settling for third.

Enjoy the pictures and Video of our awesome weekend. Remember, at MSG, ” the pain is only temporary, the fun lasts all day!”


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