Endurance Cross is coming to the Southeastern United States in 2009. The Southern ‘Cross presented by BH Bikes, will take place on January 24, 2009 at Mulberry Gap in Ellijay, Georgia. Promoted by 55nine Performance’s Namrita and Eddie O’Dea, the 50-mile race is loosely based on the Three Peaks Challenge in the UK.
“The cyclocross series in the southern states have been growing at rapid rate and a lot of riders come south in the winter for the warmer temps” explained Namrita O’Dea. “The feedback has been great, but because of parking issues, we’ve had to limit the number of entries to 50 riders.Ã‚Â We are exploring other options to add more entries, but we’ll see how that plays out.”
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The O’Deas are encouraging spectators to come out to watch riders tackle the course, which will include a short circuit on the Mulberry Gap property and a 45 mile loop. “The long loop is mainly gravel roads with a lot of climbing with similar terrain to the Cohutta 100,” said O’Dea. “Mulberry Gap has 15 acres, and we’ll use its natural cyclo-cross terrain Ã¢â‚¬â€œ hills for steep run-ups and natural barriers, to make a spectator-friendly circuit to finish off the race.”
Southern ‘Cross will be the third race the O’Deas will be promoting in 2009, and their future could see more cyclo-cross races. “We have some other ideas, but we don’t want to add more than one race a year. We want to do a good job with it so we don’t want to add too much. We’re constantly gauging where the interest lies. Right now we have the long endurance stuff covered with the BURN 24 and the Fool’s Gold 50 & 100, so we are looking as some shorter distance events inlcuding some traditional cyclo-cross events.”
The Southern ‘Cross will have categories for men, women, single speed and fixed geared bikes.