2016/7 was the winter that changed things around for CX in Athens. No more πατέντες bike, racers appeared geared up and determined to train, participate and promote the sport. This season the World of Cross consisted of 4 races spread out through the winter starting from November to January.
The courses were hard, technical and sometimes more suited for MTB rather than CX, again certain man-made technical obstacles sadly were missing (stairs, barriers, off-camper sections). Νevertheless the courses were enjoyed and at the end everyone liked one over another for whatever reason. From the smooth, fast Zografou park to the sandy tech Rafina and the sketchy Koutala all had their moments.
The level is getting also better, improving and developing since new people are joining in to this. Powerhouse riders like Paras, Gkinis, Rovakis and Gallis dominated the series either on ELITE or MASTER category and few fresh new riders seemed particularly skilled and able to feature in the future. Our own bunch did good, shredding for the sake of stoke, Themis got 1st podium for Open Cat at Koutala, Vito 4th at Petroupoli, so did Agi at Zografou – however it doesnt really matter. The best gain this season was the energy and atmosphear between the racers, a true sense of community being created was felt all the way through.
And this is what was achieved this year, just like the way it happens in Greece through minimal means, personal passion and devotion to cycling.
Cross is definitely here. You bet.
All photos by Nassos Triantafyllou. Visit Nassos’ portfolio here.