This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
In most races, when you cross the finish line, the pain stops. If you win the just-about-anything-goes Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships, more pain awaits as the tattoo gun hums. As testament to the spirit of the preposterous-over-pretentiousness event, the winner, by rule, must get a SSCXWC tattoo.
This year, Giant's Adam Craig rallied his way through cornfields, spear-wielding Ewoks, giant-ball mud pits, a pond and more en route to winning his fifth title — ahead of an actual former world 'cross champion Sven Nys, no less.
The legendary Belgian does not show fear on the race course. But was Nys perhaps a little bit skeered of a tattoo? That we may never know.
While Craig may be wearing the USA kit semi-ironically, it is his. Craig has represented his country at the Olympic Games, among other international events
For the second consecutive year, Craig piloted a machine with flat bars instead of the traditional drop bar.
To celebrate the tenth annual edition of SSCXWC, Giant did a one-off custom paint design for Craig, based on a 2016 TCX SLR SS that was produced in small numbers.
"The out-of-this world Galaxy theme is inspired by the event and Carl Sagan, of course," Giant marketing director An Le told BikeRadar. "The design is a colab between Adam and a few folks here at Giant. We wanted a theme that tied in with SSCXWCxPDX and its nebula-vibe. Once the design was nailed, we worked with Splat, a local Oregon paint shop to bring it to life. Strong Oregon/Pacific Northwest connection here with Adam (a resident of Bend, Oregon), Splat and the event."
Did the astrophysicist ride? We have no idea
What gear does a guy like Craig pick when he can only pick one? Why, a 38x16, of course.
Check out the gallery above for a closer look at the bike — and the tattoo.
To the winner go the spoils, er, the tattoo!