Every year at their annual meeting, Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) presents awards to those racers who accumulate points with top 15 finishes spanning eight cycle racing disciplines throughout a calendar year.
In mens Category 3 racing, the Best All-Around Rider (BAR) was Bend’s Ryan Ness from Therapeutic Associates Bend / Pine Mountain Sports Cycling Team. To qualify for the BAR award, Ness had to compete in at least four disciplines; he competed in five: mountain, road, time trial, criterium, and cyclocross.
He didn’t realize he was in contention for the prestigious award until early Fall, after which he also learned that he’d been upgraded to the top cyclocross racing category. Accumulating points in Category 3 became a challenge until December’s Deschutes Brewery Cup cyclocross races. Through some complicated category reciprocity and strong finishes both days of the Cup, Ness earned enough points to clinch the title.
Though he never claimed a top podium spot in his 2011 races, his 1,104 accumulated points highlights his endurance and versatility as a rider in a racing calendar that spans 11 months.
When asked about how he felt about the award, his self-deprecating reaction gave away his upper Midwestern roots,
“Boy I don’t know. I’m guessing the pro contract offers should start rolling in any time now, right? I think my teammates will make fun of me more than anything.”
While proud of his accomplishment, Ness takes it in stride adding that he’ll probably give his team’s main sponsor, Therapeutic Associates, a chance to showcase the trophy.