Listed below are results from the 2009 Mud, Sweat, and Gears Cyclocross Series.

All images are property of Bart Nave Photography.

MSG #1 Results – 10/3/2009

MSG #2 Results – 10/4/2009

2009 Mud Sweat and Gears opened with the City of Kingsport, TN pulling out all the stops to make our first race at Domtar the biggest ever. Not just a cross race but a cross event!
With the largest fields ever for MSG and cyclocross in the state of Tennessee, this years series opener had an army of CX’ers both days, 168 entries on Saturday and 147 on Sunday This is a long way from MSG’s first race way back in October of 2004 having only 52 entries. This is a year of firsts for MSG, new venue at Domtar Park in Kingsport, TN and the first-ever flyover in the region “Brewer’s Brug”. Vendor row was another first with three local shops in attendance, as well as national level companies, Lynskey, Chris King, and Chattanooga based Multisport Direct. Another first, Bonefire Barbecue and New Belgium beer, serving up some of the best southern BBQ and New Belgium brew. Topping it all off was live music Saturday night.

Prizes were aplenty. We raffled a Redline Conquest frame, courtesy of Piney Flats Bicycles. There will be three more frames given away over the remainder of the series, two more Redlines, and a Lynksey Pro Cross! We also gave Cyclocross Magazine subscription primes to three fields, On Saturday a hot lap prime for the fist lap in the women’s CX 4 field won by, Golden Moore of Lenoir, NC. On Sunday we primed the juniors 10-14 and 15-18 for the first rider across the line from the start area 1/4 mile away, 10-14 rider Levi Marland took the prize and the race, along with 15-18 rider Jeremiah Dyer taking the prime for his category and the race. He also finished on the other end of the CX3 field from me taking 3rd in that race.

The course being nearly flat was a real power course, two miles long, lots of long stretches in grass, pavement and an assortment of tight turns, some off camber and short run-ups on the middle section. The course was a challenge but was loved by all – very similar to a lot of the European courses.

On Day 1, Will Black took the Men’s Pro/1/2 (Crosstown Velo/Renaissance Bicycles) over Cannondale’s Travis Livermon and Nathanael Wyatt (Carolina Fatz/ Santa Cruz/Industry Nine) while in the women’s race, Deb Sweeny-Whitmore (BMW/Bianchi) grabbed a victory over Jessica Ingram and Kim Bishop.

On Day 2, the podium’s stars remained the same in the men’s race, but with the top two positions reversed with Livermon taking revenge. But in the women’s race, Carla Swart (Lip Smacker) and Elizabeth Frye (Boone Velo) emerged to unseat the previous day’s podium, with only Jessica Ingram remaining, settling for third.

Enjoy the pictures and Video of our awesome weekend.

Mud, Sweat, and Gears from Alan Sparks

MSG #3 Results – 10/31/2009
(Johnson City, TN) – The third round of racing action in the 2009 Mud, Sweat, and Gears Cyclocross Series took place at the Winged Deer Park venue. Historically, this park has been dry and dusty, but on this particular day, truly Belgian cyclocross conditions greeted the racers as they raced through rain and fog on a course that quickly churned into a mud that covered bikes and riders alike. Eric Thompson (Lees-McRae College) took top honors in the Pro/1/2 race while Golden Moore (Unattached) won the Women’s Pro/1/2/3 race. Since this race was on Halloween, many racers dressed in costume and earned a bonus of 25 points in the series standings in addition to the double points on offer. See you in a few weeks for the next installment of the series at Winged Deer!

MSG #4 Results – 11/14/2009

(Johnson City, TN)- The fourth installment of the 2009 Mud, Sweat and Gears Cyclocross Series was welcomed by warm sunshine and blue skies- the complete opposite of the Halloween race that was cold and muddy. MSG #4 saw another record crowd with 173 entries.

A first for MSG, was playing host to an SEC Collegiate Series Race. This being the first year of an SEC conference series turnout was light but competition was fierce. With local ETSU rider, Gregory Kaufman, winning the Collegiate C race.

The much and anticipated Redline run-up made it’s fourth appearance in the six years that Winged Deer Park has hosted our event. The run-up also known as “The Wall” is one of the most feared features of any MSG course. At 25′ long and 45 degrees, just running up it a few times beats you down, and riding it is nearly impossible! New features included the “Drop” and “Ring Around the Oak Tree”. Aside from the three technical features of the course the rest of the course was wide, with sweeping turns that required no braking, just railing through. While this should have provided much needed recovery, the pace was so high riders had to “stay on the gas” the whole time.

To encourage riders to attempt to ride the run-up, two subscriptions to Cyclocross Magazine, an MSG sponsor, were on the line. At the top of the run-up, crowds gathered under Michael Viertal’s Lynskey tent (Viertal, a Lynskey rep also won the CX4 race) and behind the Cyclocross Magazine banner to ring bells and yell at riders attempting the challenge. Lap after lap, DJ Carroll Pleasant chided the riders for failed attempts, as they became “just another brick in the wall”. One of the event directors was even seen seeding the run-up with dollar bills to tempt riders who failed to pedal to the summit. Eventually two riders were able to best the Wall and snag the subscriptions, one on single speed!

By far the most exiting race of the day was the Masters 35+ race. Soon after the start, a heated battle erupted as a three-man break left the 27-man Masters field. The run-up became the key battleground of the race as the fastest runners proved to gain the advantage. Soon the break unhinged one rider and it was a man on man battle between Bert Hull (Multisport Direct) and Jacob McGahey (Industry Nine). The run-up, being at the beginning of the paved start/finish stretch, meant that the battle was going to come down to the wire! The final ascent of the run-up saw Hull with a slight lead. As he re-mounted, McGahey launched a blistering attack from behind and rocketed toward the finish line 100m away. But, he went too soon and Hull was able to grab his wheel and come around him on the up-hill finish with enough time for a victory salute. “He was really strong out on the long stretches and sweeping turns, he really put it to me on the last lap but a hung on.” said Hull of his opponent. Knowing he had a good sprint Hull just had to make it to the top of the run-up where his ability to “drag race” gave him the victory. In his first ever cyclocross race, Hincapie/GaryFisher pro rider, Chris Harkey finished in third.

The pro race saw a respectable field of local and regional men. From the gun, the race exploded and the field was strung out. The pace was extremely high and favored the powerful riders who could push a big gear and get through the technical sections without incident. Lees McCrae rider Eric Thompson rode away from the race by successfully riding the Wall on each of the eight laps in the 60 minute race.

The MSG #4 course took inspiration from the Nommay World Cup course and was a complete surprise from the track that was used last season and a change from the tight, technical courses preferred by the course designer.

The Single Speed category is one that continues to grow at MSG. A motley crew of classes and categories, these guys make rolling over one big gear seem easy. Three years ago when MSG first added SS, there were only 6 riders on the line. This week, 21 riders lined up for SS action.

Next up MSG #5 in Bristol, TN. This course features the now legendary spiral dubbed “The Lynskey Helix” this year in honor of Lynskey Performance Designs, handmade titanium Bicycles from Chattanooga, Tn.

MSG #5 Results – 12/05/2009

MSG#5: Suck it up and ride hard: an early Xmas gift for MSG
MSG #5 dawned cold and snowy with a couple of inches of snow on the ground and big fat flakes falling. This weekend was our first back at our third and most scenic venue, Steele Creek Park, in Bristol, TN. The weather in the  southern Appalachian mountains is hard to predict and with unsually mild temps and lack of precipitation over the past few years, I wondered how the snow would affect turnout. We soon found out, that over the past six years, MSG has grown a good cross base in the region and, what would have turned people away in those early days, saw another big turnout for upper east Tennessee with 120 entries. It’s getting late in the season but folks are just as enthusiastic about cross as they were way back in October at Domtar Park in Kingsport.

The Lynskey Helix, was the main feature of the course for MSG #5. The spiral has been a center piece of this MSG course for three years running and this years’ version was a 4 lane spiral with a diameter of 100′ . The Helix was a dizzying experience, coming into it with a lot of speed. The constant turning of the radius caused a little of disorientation by the time the center was met. The course had another sweet surprise back in the pine woods. A hill that had always been ridable for most folks was turned into a slipin’ slide incline that was ridable only by a few. By the time the Pro’s took the field the entire course had turned into mud by the churned up snow. Looking like the fields of the Koppenberg Cross. This was a heavy course, a mudders dream and the clean skinsuit hipster’s nightmare!

The largest field of the day were the CX 4 men with 41 riders taking the start. MSG #5 also saw the return of CX 4 series points leader, and MSG sponsor Jeff Carlsen. Jeff missed race #4 due to an unfortunate incident with a gate pole at MSG#3. The crash left Jeff with a separated shoulder, and a danger of losing his points lead . Any doubts to Jeff’s condition were quickly put to rest as Jeff’s skills and strength opened up an uncrossable gap giving him his third 1st place finish in 4 of the 5 MSG races so far.

The Womens 1/2/3 race is seeing a close battle between Deb Sweeney Whitmore of BMW/Bianchi and host club rider Kim Bishop of Tri Cities Road Club. This battle is being waged by two very strong women.  Deb is an experienced veteran and Kim, in her third year racing cross, is finally seeing the fruits of her labor come to fruition.  Only 29 points separate these two, so it’s coming down to the wire in the women’s race.

In the Pro 1/2 ranks. race winner, Bradford Perley, had a great ride in the sweet dark mud, but the real battle was between series founder Eric Wondergem of Hup United and Noah Niwinski of Boone Velo. Eric is holding on to a narrow lead of just 14 points going into the MSG series final. The Pro race also saw the return of another cross stalwart and sponsor, Andy Applegate.  Andy hadn’t been seen at MSG since the first race weekend way back in October due to illness. Andy showed his skill as a master of cyclocross racing by placing 2nd in the Pro race.

The weather is definitely playing a role in the selection this year at MSG. Used to racing hard packed grass for the majority of races over the past several seasons, the power guys are loosing ground to the dirty mudders. Bike handling skills, and the mental toughness to endure the elements is giving a leg up to more technical riders. It’s going to be a grand finale this Saturday, December 12th at Steele Creek Park. Seems like October 3rd was a long time ago but, as with each year, I can’t believe it’s over. Good times. The finale on 12/12/09 at Steele Creek Park will be awesome with a pot luck dinner featuring home made chili and the give away of a Lynskey cross frame, a Redline Conquest Pro frame, a set of Chris King hubs, and boat loads of other prizes from our awesome sponsors. If you are within driving distance, get to Bristol for the Mud, Sweat and Gears 2009 season ending blowout!

MSG #6 Results – 12/12/2009

2009 Series Finale
The 2009 MSG Series wrapped up Saturday with a great day of racing on a course that was slick in certain places due to the thawing ground. The cold temps were no match for the heated racing that saw wins by Eric Wondergem (Hup United), Kim Bishop, Justin Crawford (VA Tech), Jacob McGahey (Industry Nine), Jeff Carlsen (TCRC), Dwight Wyatt, Susi Chandler (SCO), Andy Applegate (Kenda Pro Cycling presented by Spinergy), Jesse Stidham, and Levi Marland. Congratulations to the day’s winners!

Following the racing, we had our annual series awards ceremony and raffle. Thanks to all of our sponsors for the great prizes. Dave Smith walked away with a sweet set of pink Chris King hubs, and Jason Carrico won the Lynskey ProCross frameset.  Congratulations to all of our series winners.  Enjoy the offseason, and see you in 2010!

2009 MSG Overall Points Standings