The dust has settled on the 2022 Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC), which means that the hot dogs, American cheese slices, and beer cans have all been cleaned up.
SSCXWC’s returned to Durango after last being held in the southwestern Colorado city in 2009. Durango actually won the bid for 2020, but COVID-19 delayed the event by two years.
Nevertheless, event promoter Dylan Stucki pulled out all the stops for this year’s championship event, which unfurled over four fall days in early November. From qualifying townie bike roller races to Big Mac-eating contests, riders gave it their all for a spot at the coveted, and highly unsanctioned, championship race.
Check out the images for a real taste of the event. And if you like what you see, mark your calendars for Santa Cruz in 2023.
The event venue on Durango Mesa attracted hundreds of riders and spectators alike.
SSCXWC always open with a hosting competition for the following year’s event. In Durango, the first competition for hosting rights was an alley-cat race around town organized by local collegiate and junior coach Chad Cheeney.
Santa Cruz, California and Des Moines, Iowa were the top teams in the alley cat and then went head-to-head in the bike polo.
Although Des Moines led at the half, Santa Cruz rallied to win in overtime.
There were many pre-qualifiers before Saturday’s world championship race. One was the roller race — on townie bikes — at registration on Thursday.
Durango MTB’er Henry Nadell got tuned up for the weekend by pinning it on the rollers.
As did another Durango bike legend, Sarah Sturm.
The underwAero advantage is a thing. Maybe.
Also, note the beer and hot dog on deck.
SSCXWC20DGO event organizer Dylan Stucki crushed the competition by setting the fastest known time in the one mile sprint/eat a hot dog/chug a beer townie roller race, thus qualifying for Saturday’s world championship event.
(There was also an option to get zapped by a dog collar for automatic entry)
Friday kicked off with ¾ lap heat races to determine who would qualify for Saturday’s championship race. 250 men competed for 125 spots; everyone else was automatically entered into the loser’s race. All women and non-binary riders were also required to do their heat races.
Friday had 18 heats with 18 riders each, and the top five all qualified.
Local singlespeed legend, Travis Brown, sending it for the win in his heat race dressed as another local singlespeed legend, Chad Cheeney.
Note the SSCXWC ‘09 socks.
Heat races weren’t the only way to qualify — there were four feats of strength competitions Friday afternoon that could land you a spot in the main event.
The feats of strength options included Big Mac eating competitions, The Kapushup beer chug pushup challenge, tug-o-war, and a pedi cab tractor pull race.
Here, Marley Blonsky, 2019 SSCX world champ Sunny Gilbert, Maddie Ortenblad, and Sarah Sturm crush some burgers.
On Saturday, all of the losers followed Stucki to the start of their race.
Losers are the best senders?
2019 world champ Maxx Chance kept the ladies hydrated during the women’s and non-binary race.
Sturmy rides to victory in the women’s race after a heated battle with Fort Lewis College phenom, Natalie Quinn.
And Robert Cummings on their way to become the first-ever non-binary SSCX world champ!
Then men’s race got off to a hot start with defending champ Maxx Chance leading Olympian Howard Grotts through the teeter totter gates.
Keegan Swenson, who qualified for Saturday’s race by being the fastest man to chug a beer, do 50 push-ups and then chug another beer, sporting a good luck slice of American cheese on his helmet.
Durango local Colt Fetters mid-throw during one of his multiple backflip attempts.
SSCXWC is for lovers.
Olympic ice dancer/former XC and ‘cross pro Todd Wells went back and forth with Grotts all race long.
Donuts, beers, margaritas, whiskey, ham, dollar bills, and pretty much anything else you could think of were featured in on-course handups.
Some things broke.
Note Grotts’ naked bicep as he soloes to victory.
He is now forever a SSCX world champion.
See you in Santa Cruz next fall!