The 2005 River City Bicycles Cross Crusade wrapped up on Saturday, December 3, with a big awards party at the Kinesis factory in Northeast Portland. With an average of 595 competitors in each of the six races held this winter, the RCBCC easily topped last year's numbers. The main event, the Cannondale Stumptown Cyclocross Classic at Alpenrose, drew 760 racers, making it the biggest cyclocross race ever held on U.S. soil.
"The numbers speak for themselves," said Race Director Brad Ross, who, along with a group of dedicated organizers, has promoted the series for a decade. "Interest in the sport of cyclocross and the Crusade continues to grow. We've worked hard to make cyclocross fun and accessible to all participants, not just elite riders. And our formula obviously works. Oregon has the most vibrant cyclocross scene in the county."
The awards party was a boisterous brouhaha, with music, video race highlights, recognition of class winners (and of blatant cheaters and sandbaggers), free merchandise, free adult beverages, valuable door prizes, and the occasional flying piece of luncheon meat. In short, the party embodied the character and vitality that is the Cross Crusade.
Despite the Cross Crusade's egalitarian approach, serious racing did take place. Thus, the top finishers in all 15 classes were recognized at the awards party. Class winners were: Category A Men, Kevin Hulick; Category B Men, Steven Hunter; Category C Men, Eric Heinrich; Beginner Men, Mathew Fox; Single Speed, Matthew Slaven; Junior Men, Jacob Rathe; Masters 35+ Category A, John Bravard; Masters 35+ Category B, Michael Romasco; Masters 35+ Category C, Aaron Leritz; Masters 50+, David Zimbleman; Category A Women, Wendy Williams; Category B Women, Jade Wilcoxson; Beginner Women, Jennifer Erxleben; Masters Women 35+, Karen Goritski; and Junior Women, Rachelle Hobson.
Next year's River City Bicycles Cross Crusade promises more of the same, Ross said. Again, the series will feature six races, plus the finale of the Crank Brothers U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross, which will be a stand-alone event at the end of the season. The Cross Crusade will also host the USGP awards party following that race.
More information: www.crosscrusade.com