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HTXCX Series Kicks-off Saturday at Hilltop Ranch

Written by Doogie Roux

The HTXCX Series kicks off Saturday at Hilltop Ranch in Willis, Texas. Houston’s very own Doogie Roux had a chance to sit down with the series organizer, KOLO Promotion’s Bryan Voytilla, for a rapid-fire Q&A.

Q : What made you decide to put this series on?

I’ve really focused on growing the cross racing in Houston.  I was exposed to the sport of cyclocross by some pretty cool people back in Portland.  The focus was all about having fun on a bike. Something that I think is easy to forget when racers are concerned about upgrade points tallies.  Thats fine, too, but I think in some cases we lacked a grass roots approach to a backyard sport. We’ve grown over the last few years from 3 or so races in Houston to a total of 12 this year in the Houston area alone.  10 of those being part of the Houston CX Series (HTXCX).

Q : Is it the first of its kind in Houston?

Other regions are doing similar things.  We’ve all grown to realize we need to build the base in each region and cater to those that work full-time and have a family.  This is the racer that can’t travel every weekend let alone train consistently. Cross is great because anyone can race. All you need is some grit and a bike.  The west, central and north Texas regions have grown over the last few years.  It’s pretty cool to take a step back and see what has evolved over the past few years.  I think everyone in Texas is doing a great job growing the sport.

Q : What can we expect? Any sweet jumps?

The 10 series races cover just about everything you’ll see in ‘cross around the world.  We’ve got a monster sand course back on the calendar that the BCR crew put together last year.  A brewery race coming to the series.  We are back at the Hilltop Ranch to kick things off which is unlike any course in Texas with use of it’s BMX track.  Thats where you will see the sweet jumps.

Q : Will there be races for the kiddos?

Every weekend we have a kids fun race along with the competitive kids races.  There are some pretty rad junior programs in Houston that have created some bike racing prodigies in the region.  You’ll see them lining up in the P/1 races this year which is pretty cool since they can’t even drive! 

Q : Equal payouts or nah?

If you know anything about me, I’m bringing people into the current century.  I’m known for calling out other promotors on equal payouts.  Sometimes we get it done with the crew.  Since I started promoting in Houston back in 2013 all of my races and series races have been equal payouts.  It sometimes blows my mind to have to tell promotors to do this.  Houston is #alwaysequal.  That being said we pay equal of $0 for the men and $0 for the women.  It’s not about the cash here in Houston it’s about the community we create.

Q : Who are the sponsors?

We are partnering with the local shops to support the races and are excited to have Bikelane, Sugar Cycles, Urban Bicycle Gallery, West End Bikes on the circuit helping out.  Big thanks to them for stepping up and helping.  We’ve also got Karbach Brewery on the team and you will see them supporting the suffer zones and beer garden at the races. Castelli will again be providing our leader jerseys.

Q : What prizes will you have?

Podium swag will be via the sponsoring shops.  We are continuing our throw back to the Astros leader jerseys.  They’re are a hit and it’s so cool to see these being worn around town in the off-season.

Q : Other race series you’re putting on or helping out with?

The Grand Prix of Texas (GPOTX) makes a stop in Houston again this year.  This year it will be October 21-22, 2017 at Brock Park and put on by the Bayou City Racing crew.  The series is part of a four week Texas Cup series that travels between Houston, Austin and DFW.  These guys and gals do an awesome job at events and I’m excited to be able to race this series this year.  

Q : Is Team $uper Awesome allowed?

T$A is always welcome, although based in the central region they will most likely be at all of the Austin races.  The roots run deep and I’m sure the HAM team will keep everyone on their toes in H-town.

Q : Could we get an official or semi-official word on the Short ‘n Sweet series? The people need to know.

I’ve had some personal commitments this year which made us push it back, then cancel it all together.  We are looking at options to have it in January which will be better with the heat.  We’ll release some more info once ‘cross season is in full swing.

Q : Shout-outs?

Shout-out to the racers.  Without you none of this would happen or even be a possibility.

Q : What handups do you wanna see?

Always take the green juice KOLO handup.  It will warm the belly and soul.

Q : Corn or flour?

Corn! Vegan and gluten free for life!

Thanks for your support. See ya’ll at the races!

About the author

Doogie Roux

Doogie Roux is a proud Cajun-Texan, does a lot of stuff, and doesn't sleep much. He’s a big part of the Houston cycling family, as well as a connoisseur of fine food joints in the Bayou City and abroad. He may lack the endurance that most of his competition maintains, but his bursts are incredible, and he always finishes strong. He continually dominates the "Handup Category" in cyclocross, all while producing decent photos and writing about amazing things. What he appreciates most about the Texas cycling community is its diversity and how it all comes together to create an amazing culture of love and acceptance in our giant state.

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