9 months after the Ghost Lab CX event at Papagou the 48×17 CX team returned to a fresh new spot at Nea Philadelphia park to design a creative course that would offer wider gravel roads, steeper off camper sections and more technical obstacles. Showdown date was scheduled for December 10 and after a 15 day period of heavy rainfall that is extremely rare in Greece we gathered at the New Philly park in glorious Greek winter sunshine to celebrate a day of cross races of all kinds: CX Elite, fixed gear cross and 4 Cross Running.
Most of the usual faces you see at the CX races in Greece were present with the powerhouse trio of D. Rovakis (Just Ride), G. Gkinis (WOB) and P. Parras (Odysseas) giving a show battle between them. Following these three closely was S. Michalis (Panathinaikos) a rider that impressed the field showing great form mixed with nice style even on the transition on and off the bike. The Elite riders blazed through the course in full throttle managing the technical difficulties and mastering the pace with full power on the pedal.
Eventually after a great start by Michalis it was Rovakis that showed the greatest stamina as he waited for the right moment to lift the pace leaving Gkinis and the others on his tail claiming victory at his category.
For the Ντιλίτ category things were coming full circle for A. Papadopoulos as he showed great form and it seems that he had shifted previous bad karma (flats in all other CX races this year) claiming a well deserved first podium spot. He was followed by A. Zachariades (Odysseas) and V. Danezis (Frederik Bikes) as the field battled for positioning.
A massive respect should also go to Aneta Pleva the first and only female cyclocrosser that had participated in a Greek CX race ever!
Something worth noting for this category: we enjoyed seeing riders coming organised and prepared to spend a fun day at the races no matter their level/capacity or equipment and in our opinion this is the future of the sport for our small-scene sponsor-absent country.
A full atmosphere of camaraderie between the participants was shared and we are chuffed for that.
Following the CX race Tracklocross was to happen again for a second time in Greece. We had so many people asking us to throw another fixed gear cyclocross race again and we could not say no. These pocket races are so fun and we have so much respect for those throwing theirselves in the gravel on a brakeless track bike!
Quite a few riders registered for that and it was a super show for the bystanders watching it. For most of the participants it was a case of choosing the right line not to flat. As the race was progressing it became evident that it was not the faster but the smarter that would win. D. Martseleas from Kardamylli, Mani came strong again and lead the race for most of the time but flatted a lap or two before the end losing the first position and opting out.
So did few others and S. Keskenidis following at close range was the one to take the opportunity to came at the front and played the course smart to win the race. Yiannis Karagiorgos was second and Panos Dalas, the only racer with fatter tyres on the fixed cross bike (sick build!) at third place.
Massive congrats to all of you.
Last but not least was the 4Cross Running race organised by Zarou Zone. Running in the parks is an idea that should be thought of a lot more and that was our first take on it. Positive results were drawn out of this and we enjoyed the fact that some people participated in both cycling and running.
Harris Papaharalambous, a fixed gear cyclist and competitive runner himself, finished the race in top spot followed by Gkinis and Zarou.
That was ATH CROSS then, we would like to thank everybody that came to race or holler and we would like to have again with us on the next one. Stay tune via newsletter or social media for any upcoming 48×17 race or event. Till then remember… #crossisboss
Many thanks to our supporter and sponsor Handpickers Coffee Roasters, visit here.
Fueled by Desperados beer, many thanks to Eva Patapatiou.
Sponsored and prizes by Slastik Sun, Cadence, GU, 48×17 and Zarou Zone.
All photographs by Nassos Triantafyllou and Petros Gkotsis.
Race Marshall: Dimitris Patrikios
Production team: Matthaios P., Manos Andreou, Kostas Zdralis, Dionysis Souliotis, Vaggelis Zarouchliotis, Agi Kolyvas.