Bike shootout chock full of thrills, spills

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Bike racing returned to the streets of downtown Maryville over the weekend with the annual Maryville Criterium. Sponsored by Southern Cycling Operations, the daredevil sprint with the Blount County Courthouse as its backdrop had its share of spills. Mark Hekman of team Abercrombie & Fitch took the men’s professional race, with area fitness instructor Kirsten Davis proving the class of the field in the women’s event.

Hekman, second-place finisher Dirk Pohlmann and Andrew Applegate, Hekman’s Abercrombie teammate, motored clear of the men’s field in the early going. Defending Maryville champion Geri Mewett of Hincapie Sportswear gave chase but was unable to catch the three leaders. Davis rode solo away from the women’s field after only a couple of circuits and never looked back.

Sanctioned by the Tennessee Bicycle Racing Association, the race series returns to Maryville in August with the Ruby Tuesday Criterium, contested along the same course.

  • Black Bear Bicycle Bash
    Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend will be the site for the Friday and Saturday Black Bear Bicycle Bash on March 16-17.

The event had its inaugural race last spring and repeated in the fall. On the schedule are road and trail rides, games, prizes, and demonstrations of equipment and accessories.

Registration for the ride is $15 per person. The ride is open to local cyclists as well as guests of Dancing Bear Lodge.

Registration for cyclists not staying at Dancing Bear Lodge is $35 and includes the ride, T-shirt and the post-ride party.

For additional information, call 865-448-6000 or visit

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