Kari is Single Speed CX World Champion!

Kari is Single Speed CX World Champion!Velo Bella-Ellsworth rider Kari Studley won the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship in über-muddy conditions. Portland hosted the race, which included a Le Mans style run to the bikes start. Kari’s win granted her the privilege of wearing the Golden Bikini and ensured that next year’s World Championship race will come to Seattle. Janet Hill of Spot Shot Events captured Kari and striped tights in action. Check out Janet’s galleries for more images of all the wacky, muddy fun. Cyclocross Magazine also has some video and Portland Xcross has a gallery of Dirty Pictures.

Here’s what Kari had to say about her big win!

Doing this event made me think back to the days of Seasame Street and the lyrics of the song “One of these things is not like the other.  One of these things just doesn’t belong…”  Me doing a single speed race, much less the “World Championships” in Portland is pure irony…      It’s the similar irony I enjoy in training on a pink bike and racing in nothing but pink this whole season.  If you ever get to meet me, you’ll understand.

It was a dream come true to be able to give my custom painted pink with chopper flames bike the showcase it deserves and I even made a pair of sparkely pink boot shoe covers for the event, but discovered while racing in them for the Halloween race the previous weekend they wouldn’t be suitable to race in if running was involved.  Therefore, plan B: pink stripe tights.

The course was  a complete MUDFEST.  Having been raced on since 8am and rain showers in the afternoon, there was not a blade of grass to be found and mud “puddles” that went half way to your knee in depth when riding through.  Half way into the race, ramps were added so that you could catch air on a couple barriers and other places in the course – very fun!  And the most important part: the “Thunderdome” where people would swing overhead and/or near you as you rode through.

As there were 250 riders, it was a la mans start with the women further away from the pile of bikes, in an effort to separate the groups. Not sure how effective it was as I was into a sea of men the second I got my bike.  From them on, it was navigating through riders in costumes ranging from the “man-kini (aka Borat thong)”, Shiela Moon’s team of boyfriends and “Tina Turner” (who corrected me when I complimented his “Pregnant Wendy Simms” costume…oops!).  Although I had been advised to have dollar bills to race with, I forgot, and therefore had to ride the extra out-and-back section added to the course since I didn’t have a dollar to bribe the course official to take the “shortcut.”  By that point, it was such a mass of chaos, I just stuck to riding my race, figuring that if I won, I was at least going to win correctly (or cheaply, as cheating was encouraged).  5 laps later, the “race” was over.  I outsprinted a guy to the line in good fun, but had absolutely no idea on my overall result.

I was thrilled to hear my name announced at the Thunderdome, and did my best to change into the golden bikini in the back of a trailer in the dark (hence the sportsbra addition – I couldn’t get it to stay on in a family friendly fashion!).  It was also an honor to be the deciding factor in the competition between Seattle and San Francisco on who would host the event next year.  See you all in Seattle!

Huge thanks to: The Sweet Spot for the bikini “preparation” help and River City Cycles team and Nuun energy drink for the tent space!

Photo copyright Janet Hill, Spot Shot Events, and is used with permission. Thanks Janet!