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Have You Heard of Cyclo-cross?

At the recent bike industry convention in Las Vegas, Lance Armstrong made a not so stunning return to bike racing.

Granted he was a little out of his element. He was racing in a cyclo-cross event. The seven time winner of the Tour de France came in 22nd place, but this isn't a yellow jersey, multi-stage event; cyclo-cross races consist of multiple laps on a short but crazy course and generally last between 30 minutes and an hour.

Cyclo-cross race courses contain many elements and riding surfaces. Cyclists ride over pavement, through wooded trails, on grass, up steep hills and must also maneuver around obstacles that often require riders to hop off their bikes and carry them to the next challenge. Although, I have just learned about this kind of race, they have been popular in Europe since the 1940s. As cycling becomes more popular in the US, the variety of races held in the States grow as well.

After battling through tough press conference with a barrage of questions posed by three time Tour winner Greg LeMond on the subject of doping, I think Lance found cyclo-cross a little daunting. Armstrong did say it felt good to ride, race and compete, but chances of becoming an elite cyclo-cross competitor next season are small. I, however, would love to ride in one of these races as well as hear a little more about LeMond's allegation about Armstrong's doping. What about you?


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