Cyclocross comes to Pagosa Springs this holiday season

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Photo courtesy Michael Pierce Pagosa Springs’ GECKO joins the 4Corners Cyclocross Race Series, adding two race events to its December calendar. Cyclocross courses have obstacles and varying terrain, requiring the rider to often dismount and walk or run, carrying their bike or navigating carefully through the technical sections.
Photo courtesy Michael Pierce
Pagosa Springs’ GECKO joins the 4Corners Cyclocross Race Series, adding two race events to its December calendar. Cyclocross courses have obstacles and varying terrain, requiring the rider to often dismount and walk or run, carrying their bike or navigating carefully through the technical sections.

By Kirsten Le Roux
Special to The SUN

Cyclocross is a dynamic and exciting form of bicycle racing that is usually held in the fall and winter months.

The race course is generally short (between 1 and 2 miles) and competitors are required to complete as many laps as possible in the allowed time (generally 40 minutes to an hour). The courses have obstacles and varying terrain, requiring the rider to often dismount and walk or run, carrying their bike or navigating carefully through the technical sections. Although there are specific cyclocross bikes for this form of racing, many riders use modified mountain bikes or road bikes.

Fort Lewis College (FLC) has an established following of Cyclocross enthusiasts and the 4Corners Cyclocross Race Series (4CCX) continues to grow each year. In 2014, GECKO has joined this series, adding two race events to its calendar. The 4CCX is now set in stone, with seven races in the Four Corners area.

There are three new venues that should provide some great racing action (Aztec has joined, as well as Pagosa Springs). Cyclocross racers from around the region and the FLC cycling team will be battling against some of the toughest competition and challenging courses in the nation. Many of these racers, including FLC cycling, will be honing their fitness and skills for the 2015 CX Nationals in Austin, Texas, Jan. 7-11.

The race at FLC on Dec. 13 is also going to be the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference Finals, where the winners of the collegiate category will get called up to the front row at nationals.

The Pagosa Springs events will be held on Saturday Nov. 29 (GECKO’s Turkey-Cross), at the Parelli Ranch, and Saturday, Dec. 20 (GECKO’s Chris-Cross), at the Reservoir River Ranch (Levine property on Light Plant Road, downtown).

Three of the races are USA Cycling sanctioned (FLC, Cortez) and will require either a USAC annual license or a one-day license. There is no preregistration for any of the races, so be sure to show up at least an hour before to sign up. Entry fee is $25 per race, plus a one-day license fee of $3.

Race schedule

For all Saturdays, the schedule is as follows:

11 a.m., B men (Cat. 3/4), open women, 50-plus men — 40 minutes.

Noon, Dolores, 12:45 p.m. — A men (open men), 35-plus men — 50 minutes.

Venue details

Nov. 29: Pagosa Springs, Reservoir River Ranch, Light Plant Road, downtown.

Dec. 6: Cortez, Parque de Vida, Cortez Rec Center.

Dec. 13: Fort Lewis College, Ray Denison Memorial Field.

Dec. 20: Pagosa Springs, Parelli Ranch, U.S. 160.

Dec. 21: Series awards, Irish Embassy Pub, Durango.

For more information or to get on the 4CCX mailing list, contact Dave Hagen at hagen_d@fortlewis.edu or go to http://cycling.fortlewis.edu/4ccx.

For further information on GECKO, go to www.joingecko.org or email info@joingecko.org.