Southern Cross 2015 in a nutshell: Shortened course (50miles), Rain all day, mud everywhere, and destroyed bikes.
The 2015 edition was a unique year. Eddie Odea of 55nine Performance handed the race over to Mountain Goat Adventures in 2014, so this was MGA's first go at the event. MGA did an incredible job, because even though everything went wrong for them, no one could tell. The event had to be rescheduled because the NFS declared the forest to be a "national disaster area", thus I'm sure they lost a ton of revenue due to refund requests...and the reschedule date wasn't an ideal day to be on the bike for 4+ hours. With everything gone wrong they did an incredible job, communication prior to the reschedule date, rerouting the course, neutral support, food/beer, NINER bike giveaway, and tons of other things I didn't notice because I was flat out beaten post race.
The Race was the worst 5 hours I've ever experienced on the bike. Personally, I cramped, a ton of really old guys passed me, chain-suck....oh did my drivetrain hate me, brakes were toast half way through, and my rear wheel bearings were close to frozen. The climbs are hard on a 65 degree dry day, so in the mud it's just a joke. Yet, the worst for me was the descents, cause this is usually where you can have some fun (especially on a MTB) and bomb down a mountain, but not today. The mud slung right into my face and made it impossible to see or get anywhere near 20 mph. I finished 1 hour over the last two years, and it was a shorter course by 5 miles. I still think my equipment was spot on though, CX tires on a hardtail MTB, if only my chain lube had stayed on for more than 5 miles.
Things of note, MAXXIS was the major sponsor for this event and NINER gave away a frame set to one lucky guy... Everyone was wanting that bike because our bikes were trashed.
Bring on next year, just less terrible, please.
Winning time, Frank Marrs 3:17:10
Chris' time 3:57:20
Mike's time 4:15:29
My time 4:56:46, i guess i should ride more!
Days like this make for some incredible photos, check out more from the Pros:
Amy Moss: http://amy-candita.com/project/southern-cross-race-march-2015/