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Davy Crockett Classic Deemed Successful

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

 HOUSTON COUNTY – Residents of Houston County may want to start learning the lexicon of the cycling world after last weekend’s cycling races throughout Houston County and through the streets of downtown Crockett.

Words like peloton, criterium and feed zone are starting to enter the everyday vocabulary of the oldest county in Texas.

According to Alexander Montoya, the owner and race director of Local Bike Racing who helped organize the two-day Davy Crockett Classic, it was “… pretty awesome.”

“It was really hot,

so it was hard to get as many people out there as we were hoping for but it all went pretty smoothly,” he said.

Montoya said 177 cyclists descended on Houston County which began on Saturday with a road race.

Starting at Tyer Real Estate located at 200 N. Fifth St, the cyclists traveled down FM 2022 and exited the Crockett city limits. They followed FM 2022 into Percilla. At the intersection of FM 2022 and FM 228, the route turned right onto FM 228 and headed east. The riders followed the road to FM 3016 (the Liberty Hill road) where they turned right and headed towards FM 227.

At FM 227, the riders took another right and headed west, back towards FM 2022. At the FM 227 and FM 2022 intersection, the riders turned left on to FM 2022 and headed back towards Crockett.  The more advanced riders made three loops between FM 228 and FM 227 for a total of approximately 80 miles.

“It went pretty well. We didn’t have any complaints and we got a lot of good feedback. We had a lot of new people who weren’t here in January (the first time the race was run). They really liked the course,” Montoya said.

He explained a lot of races in Texas and in the United States as a whole “… rarely finish inside of a town. With us finishing inside of Crockett, it was really a novelty type of thing for a race. By doing what we did with this race, it meant a lot to the cyclists because they might never see it if they race around here.”

On Sunday, the venue changed from the back roads to the mean streets of Crockett for what is known as a criterium.

“That’s a closed circuit race and those are a lot more common in the U.S. But again, they rarely end in a downtown or cool venue like that,” Montoya explained. “That was one of the reasons, I believe, that we received a lot of positive feedback on that as well. People just don’t get to do courses like we had and I think that is a big selling point for people to come out in the future.”

After winning his class in the criterium event on Sunday, Cody Melton from Coppell discussed the race.

“It was a good race. It was hot. I think that may have kept some people away, but It’s a good race, it’s a good town and a good place to be,” he said.

Melton said, unfortunately, he had been disqualified the previous day for crossing the center line during the open course road race.

“It’s a center line rule because it’s not a closed course. They don’t want you to interfere with traffic, so if you cross the line, you break the rules and go home.

With his win in the criterium, however, he gained a measure of redemption.

“I had planned on winning yesterday, but it didn’t turn out that way. I figured I would save some energy for today and it worked out pretty well.”

Melton is the son of Crockett High School English teacher and football coach Ronald Melton.

“It was a pretty good day. I got to race and see the family,” he added.

A few of the regional officials from U.S.A. Cycling were in Houston County for the weekend events and according to Montoya, they were also very impressed.

“We’re going to do it again in the future. We just need to work on building this and getting as many people involved with it as we can as we move forward in the future,” he said.

As far as the future plans, Montoya said plans are to definitely do the race again but the details still need to be worked out.

“We want to move it to a different time of year, when it’s not as hot,” he explained. “We will need to meet with the (Crockett) city council and get their approval before we set any firm plans.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.