Avi and I headed down to Georgia last weekend for some Waffle House (there’s a good one in Georgia) and the chance to buy our gas, fireworks and liquor all at the same store. While there we decided to stop by the SouthernX endurance cyclocross race in Dahlonega at the rustic and partially foreclosed Montaluce Winery and Estates. The race started out in the Winery proper and quickly headed out on the highway towards the mountains.

Photo credit to Weldon Weaver Photography

The first climb was kind of a shock to the system but Avi gutted it out on the steepest ramps of the day while I was off and running. Twice. It’s hard to complain about being over-geared in a situation like that, but for the record 39x25 was nowhere near low enough. I felt pretty good though and managed to work my way through the field on the climbs and limit my losses on the descents which were absolutely insane.

Photo credit to Weldon Weaver Photography

I don’t think I can over state how competitive Avi’s singlespeed field was. I didn’t catch the second place ss rider till the very top of the first climb. When I did, I saw he was using a freaking powertap. I caught the first place ss guy on one of the intermediate climbs but he passed me back on final unpaved descent surfing the top tube with his hands under his chest and nowhere near the brakes.

I got a flat in the last 5 miles and lost about 15 spots in the overall while I tossed a new tube in. To be fair though, I had seen at least four of the people that passed me stuck on the side of the road with flats of their own earlier in the race. The roads were pretty rugged. I was so distracted by the people flying by that I only put about 12 pounds in the tire and forgot to hook my rear brake back up. Luckily we were done with the gravel/rock/dirt descent at that point and I avoided pinch-flatting on the remount. Unfortunately there was plenty of climbing and descending left before the finish. Of the 51.2 miles in the race, I think there were about two that would qualify as flat around here. I nursed the bike through the remaining switchbacks and down the cx course heading to the finish, barely managing to hold off two more riders. I'm pretty sure they didn’t take a beer on the final run up though, so the odds weren't in their favor.

In the end I got 15th in the Men’s Open and Avi was 10th singlespeed. We were happy to see some familiar faces out on the course and the Chicago cyclocross scene was well represented with Eric Drummer 14th, Chris Jensen 48th, Paolo Urizar 84th, and Mia Moore 9th in the Women’s Open.

Many thanks are due to our gracious hosts, Mitzie and Barry as well as their son Sam who gave up his room for the weekend. We had a blast staying with you guys.

Check out video highlights HERE!!