(Photo above: Deschutes Brewery Cycling Team member James Williams | Photo Courtesy of Cross Crusade)
Bend Team Claims Top Honor in Nation’s Largest Cyclocross Series
For the second year in a row, the Deschutes Brewery Cycling Team won the overall team competition of the Cross Crusade, the largest cyclocross series in the nation. Cross Crusade is a series of eight races held throughout Oregon each fall, including the infamous double-header in Bend on Halloween weekend hosted by Deschutes Brewery. The Bend-based Deschutes Brewery Cycling Team finished ahead of almost 350 registered teams in 2016.
“I am so proud of our team, and we have come a long way in the four years since we started with nine riders,” said Team Director Craig Mavis. “We knew the competition would be ‘hot on our heels’ this year to try and take back the overall team standing from us, and Portland-based Team Lazy Tarantulas came on strong early in the season, but our racers came through by clinching a lot of first through tenth place finishes.”
Sanctioned by the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA), Cross Crusade is an influential, grass-roots model for sustaining and growing the sport of cycling. While the popularity of cyclocross has grown world-wide in recent years, the roots of American cyclocross can be traced to the Pacific Northwest, where the first Cross Crusade series was held in 1993.
“This year we had a ton of muddy races during the Cross Crusade Series, which slowed the pace down and brought out the technical strengths of our riders,” said Mavis, who is the Engineering Manager at Deschutes Brewery. “Our women racers really shined again this year with a lot of podium placings. As a team, we are already setting our sights on the 2017 season, and are prepared for some serious competition from the Portland teams again.”
The Cross Crusade team competition is a hotly contested race-within-a-race among Pacific Northwest teams, and a carefully constructed points system rewards the quality of results, not just participation. The Deschutes Brewery Cycling Team consists of 45 racers, spanning many categories and age groups, and only the top ten best results in any Cross Crusade race count toward the team competition. That said, Mavis says the number one goal is not to win.
“Our primary goal is to make sure we have fun along the way,” says Mavis, “and as witnessed by the smiling faces of everyone on our team throughout the season, I think we succeeded.”
See more information worth sharing on the Deschutes Brewery Cycling Team on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TeamDeschutes