The parking lot near Shepard Stadium was filled with rain soaked spectators Dec. 19 as the SoCalCross hosted their annual Santa Cross event at Pierce College.
A Cycle Cross course was set up in a clearing next to Shepard Stadium Sunday as dozens of cyclists competed in the final race of the season.
Cycle Cross, a winter sport, is meant to be done in wet weather. The rain and mud that overwhelmed the course were considered a blessing rather than an inconvenience, according to Chris Bassett, head of Registration Results and Timing.
Despite the slippery conditions riders suffered only three injuries according to Robert Sandoval, Emergency Medical Technician.
“The best races are the muddy ones,” said Sandoval. “This is a winter sport. It was created for this kind of weather.”
SoCalCross was created in 1997 by Dorothy Wong, a long time Cycle Cross rider who wanted to share her love of the sport with those close to home.
“SoCalCross has grown 300 percent in the last few years,” said Wong. “It the largest national championship cycling even in the state and the sixth in the region.”
Pierce College has been the site of the annual Santa Cross since 2002 and hopefully will continue to be, according to Wong.
The race series began in September and ends every year with the Santa Cross event at Pierce College. This is the first year that it rained during the event.
“We’ve really been enjoying this rain,” said Wong. “Every other year it’s been 80 degrees out, even in December. This is how the sport is supposed to be done.”