Category Archives: Cyclocross

Details for NW CX Cup #5 on 12/10

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Venue Rules:
• No outside alcohol.
• No cycling shoes or muddy clothing in Clubhouse or restaurant.
• Please only ride bicycles on paved surfaces and the race course.

Rider Check-In, Bib Numbers, Timing Chips
All riders most check-In at Registration to have their bib and timing chip number entered in the Start List data. Registration will be located inside the Clubhouse. If you have a bib number from a previous NW CX Cup race, please use that number. We will be using the timing chips from MFG Cyclocross and Cross Revolution. Please bring your timing chip from those series with you. New riders to the NW CX Cup will be issued bibs and timing chips at Registration.

Registration
You can register at the race at Registration on our computers or from your own device up to 30 minutes before the race here, https://www.webscorer.com/register?raceid=120384. See above for Check-In details after you register.

Waivers
We will need to have all riders sign hard copies of the standard USAC waiver and a waiver from Snohomish County Parks.

Driving Directions & Parking
From I-5 South: Take Exit #199 for Marysville / Tulalip. Turn Left onto 4th St and continue onto Marine Drive Follow for 12 Miles. Turn Right onto Kayak Point Road. Take the first Left onto 156th St NW. Kayak Point Golf Course entrance will be on the Left in 1/2 mile.

From I-5 North or South: Take Exit #202 for 116st St NE. Head West on 116st St NE (Left from South, Right from North). Turn Right at traffic light onto Quil Ceda Blvd. At the traffic circle, continue North on 34th Ave NE. At the traffic light, turn Left onto 136th St NE / Firetrail Road. Continue for 10 Miles. Becomes 140th St NE then becomes Kayak Point Road. There are brown Kayak Point signs along the way. At the bottom of the hill, turn Right onto 156th St NW. Kayak Point Golf Course entrance will be on the Left in 1/2 mile

Parking Fee: $5 per car.

Tent Set-Up
Team tents will be set up on the pavement in Tee Box Area of the Driving Range. The Driving Range is to the right as you enter the parking lot.

Food
The FireCreek Grill at Kayak Point Golf Course will be open and offering a lunch menu, beer and spirits. The course finish line will be right beside the grill and if we get a beautiful day beers and spectating on the deck will be available.

Full Race Details: http://www.mfgcyclocross.com/events/nw-cx-cup-5-kayak-point-cross/

Details for NW CX Cup #4 on 12/3

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Here is a list of important details for NW CX Cup #4 at Ft. Steilacoom Park on December 3rd.

Rider Check-In, Bib Numbers, Timing Chips
All riders most check-In at Registration to have their bib and timing chip number entered in the Start List data. If you have a bib number from a previous NW CX Cup race, please use that number. We will be using the timing chips from MFG Cyclocross and Cross Revolution. Please bring your timing chip from those series with you. New riders to the NW CX Cup will be issued bibs and timing chips at Registration.

Registration
You can register at the race at Registration on our computers or from your own device up to 30 minutes before the race here, https://www.webscorer.com/register?raceid=120383. See above for Check-In details after you register.

Driving Directions & Parking
From I-5 take the South 74th(#129) Street exit and head west. After 3 or 4 miles the road veers left and turns into Custer Road. In about 1 mile take the free right turn onto 88th St. SW. The road then turns into Steilacoom Blvd. In about 1 mile turn left at the traffic light at 87th Ave SW and take an immediate right into the park. Follow paved road in park about 1/2 mile to gravel parking area by the lake and the animal barns.

Tent Set-Up
The Start / Finish stretch will be in the grass to the left of the main road we usually use for the Start / Finish. Tents will be placed in the grass to the left of the road along the Start / Finish stretch. You will be able to drive right down the road to drop off your tent. Please drop your tent off quickly and park your car in the main parking. There will be some traffic on this road getting to the parking adjacent to the soccer fields. Thank you.

Food
We will have a self-serve waffle bar. Stop by Registration after your race for a hot fresh waffle.

Full Race Details: http://www.mfgcyclocross.com/events/nw-cx-cup-4-nationals-practice-1/

2017 Woodland Park GP Race Report

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MFG ‘Cross Hunger Games in the Woods

Sunday, November 19, 2017

By Nina and Robert Milligan

It was attack after attack, racers taking down one after another, in this last-of-season MFG ‘cross Games. This was at Woodland Park, beside the world-famous Zoo. This venue is of one of the NW cyclocross community’s most popular venues for racers and spectators alike. It features a big forest with rolling hills, which provided the perfect Games battlefield: the tree canopy dimmed the light; fallen leaves and pine needles left a carpeted forest floor, making well-timed passes undetectable; a silent “swish” and then a gentle whirl of leaves as one rider took out another, then another. Some never knew what happened to them. The best weapon of the day was timing when passing.

Today’s course traveled a circuitous loop though the park’s lovely forest, with run-ups, log jumps, installed barriers, and a series of three deceptively gentle hills that rearranged the rider lineup, just before a downhill to a 90-degree bottom turn at a classic local CX spectacle, Hodala! Corner. This one provided an optional course detour where allegiance, treachery and abandon happened simultaneously. Hodala!’s contribution to the Games consisted of a giant bubble machine and slip-n-slide,  tent-side service of non-FDA approved food and beverage hand-ups, billowing campfire smoke, all accompanied by various loud noises. Several elite men and women risked their leader positions and maybe reputations by taking the “shortcut”. The other less-observed section of the course was the finish, over a paved section, where sprints made the difference for many, and the audience cheering for all.

Over 1,000 racers entered the forest Games at Woodland Park today. All returned home afterwards.

As the season finale, this race closed the MFG Cyclocross season rankings. In the men’s category 1/2 race, it was leader Steve Fisher’s (McGovern Cycles / FSA CX) season to lose. At the starting line, he led by only four points over Spenser Paxson (Kona). Each race win adds only a two-point gap per position, so for Paxon to take the title, he would not only have to win today, but Fisher would have to drop to third place. Paxson had won only one race this season, the “North 40” on November 5th, which Fisher did not attend. Conversely, the only race Fisher lost this MFG Cyclocross season was to Russell Stevenson (Trek CXC) at MFG’s “Tall Tyler” on September 30th, winning after Fisher’s crash and mechanical. Paxon and Stevenson had this last chance to snatch the season away from Fisher.

Paxon took the lead on the opening tri-uphill climb with Fisher and Stevenson following along. The other racers strung along behind like spaghetti, a string that whipped around the course, sticking together (like our pasta) through the first two laps. But then Fisher, Paxson and Stevenson began to pull away with Kaler Marshall (road racer representing Canyon Cycles) hanging on. These four leaders established a wide enough lead to divert to the slip-n-slide at Hodala! Corner on the fourth lap, taking their bikes with them down the sudsy slide with the crowd going wild (wilder than usual). The chase group got a rise at this opportunity and kept their heads down, with Ian Tubbs (Audi) putting on the steam. But, it was insufficient to catch the now soaped-up leaders, who just, well, slipped away.

Marshall hung close with the podium leaders until the final lap, when he was reputedly taken out in an entanglement with another rider. In the exciting finish, Paxson roared through the finish eleven seconds ahead, with Fisher rolling over the line to take second, three seconds ahead of Stevenson, and winning the 2017 MFG Cyclocross Men’s Cat 1/2 series championship.

The women’s category 1/2 racers had Monica Lloyd (Olympia Orthopaedic Associates/CBC Racing) arriving at the Games with a solid hold on the series title. But series be damned, this race was all about Heidi Franz (NWCX Project). Trisha Fleisher (Monument Wheelworks/Jenkins Imaging) claimed the holeshot, but then Franz snatched the lead in the first lap and dominated the entire race, growing her lead ultimately to finish by more than a minute over second place. Franz was seen only once in the 2017 MFG Cyclocross series, at the first race at Lake Sammamish. She spent most of her 2017 ‘cross season gaining UCI points and grabbing a few wins at major races. Franz is also known for her road racing, taking a win as national collegiate champion for Seattle University.

The other races provided more drama. With Franz well out in front, the real battle was for second and third. Initially, Fleischer was hanging third on Lloyd’s wheel, but in the fifth lap Laura Jeddeloh (MD Endurance Coaching) jumped Fleisher to take Lloyd’s wheel, riding third. Jeddeloh then moved to second, but Lloyd would have none of that, yanking it back and not relinquishing, finishing a skinny second ahead of Jeddeloh’s third.

Shannon Mallory (NWCX Project) and Gina Estep (Team Thrive p/b Kaiser Permanente) brought up fourth and fifth places respectively, within a minute behind, holding steady on their series standings.

In other exciting races, going into the Woodland Park race, Liz Nettles (Team Thrive) held first place for the season, leading Mallory Nowels (Tenspeed Hero) by only two points in Women’s Cat 3. But Nowels squeaked out a win over Nettles by a split-second, knocking Nettles off the podium third place, closing the season in a tie.

In a similarly competitive situation, Men’s Cat 4 35+ began the day with only a two points gap between first and second, Christopher Quast (Yakima Basin Velo) and Mark Doane. But Doane closed out Quast by one second to win the race and tie for top spot for the season.

Big “Thanks” go out to today’s lead sponsor, home of many famous and talented musicians from the great NW, and the soundtracks for MFG Cyclocross’s outstanding playlist, Sub Pop Records https://www.subpop.com

And many thanks to the City of Seattle Parks Department for allowing the use of such a great venue. https://www.seattle.gov/parks/

Also, last and so essential, thanks to the loyal MFG Seattle food vendors (Here and There Grill, Tripod Coffee), first aid, and our bike techs.

Next up – The final event, the Series Awards Party at Brouwer’s Café November 27.

Woodland Park GP 2017

2017 Series Champions

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Cat 1/2 Men
1. Steve Fisher
2. Spencer Paxson
3. Brian McCleerey

Cat 1/2 Women
1. Monica Lloyd
2. Gina Estep
3. Stephanie Taplin

Single Speed Men
1. Daniel Olsen
2. Alex Walker
3. Galen Erickson

Single Speed Women
1. Lea Stralka
2. Rachel Wood
3. Julie Zivin

Cat 1/2 Men 35+
1. Brian Bressler
2. Barney Gill
3. JC Ramirez

Cat 1/2 Men 45+
1. Doug Carlton
2. Craig Undem
3. Rainer Leuschke

Cat 1/2 Women 40+
1. Julie Robertson Zivin
2. Jodi Duquette
3. Lisa Coyne

Men 55+
1. Kevin Johnson
2. Todd Reedy
3. Rodney Brandon

Men 60+
1. Robert Milligan
2. Jim Hansen
3. Erik Brooks

Cat 3 Men
1. Adrian Magun
2. Brandon Sprouse
3. Ricky Lyman

Cat 3 Men 35+
1. Ruaraidh Stenson
2. Joshua Simmons
3. Jeffrey Miller

Cat 3 Men 45+
1. Peter Benarcik
2. Keith Heinzelman
3. Matthew Mack

Cat 3 Women
1. Mallory Nowels
2. Liz Nettles
3. Callah Robinson

Cat 3/4 Women 40+
1. Malia Greening
2. Jane Matera
3. Olga Magun

Cat 4 Men
1. Thomas Baron
2. Trey Trefry
3. Paul Strefling

Cat 4 Men 35+
1. Mark Doane
2. Christopher Quast
3. Mark Selander

Cat 4 Men 45+
1. Cameron Janes
2. Colby Titland
3. Wesley Toller

Cat 4 Women
1. Ruth Rondema
2. Addison Leckrone
3. Kelsey Cohan

Clydesdale – 200 lbs +
1. Jim Bowes
2. Russ Sovde
3. David Mcintosh

Jr Boys 2002/2003
1. Euan Mcelwaine
2. Jacob Miller
3. Mickie Wilkinson

Jr Boys 2004/2005
1. Parker Casazza
2. Sammy Walker
3. Jack Harris

Jr Boys 2006-2008
1. Jonathan Davies
2. Nathan Sabol
3. Milo McIntosh

Jr Boys 2009/20010
1. Owen Stralka
2. Sebastian Mulier
3. Boris Grant-Riess

Jr Girls 2002/2003
1. Anna Pilbeam
2. Josie Welbourn
3. Elle Bush

Jr Girls 2004/2005
1. Poppy Knorr
2. Devon Hodgins
3. Sofia Ruiz-Murphy

Jr Girls 2006-2008
1. Ivy Stringham
2. Keaghlan Robinson
3. Iris Phillips

Jr Girls 2009/2010
1. Taylor Duquette
2. Sophie Matera
3. Scarlett George

Tent Setup at Woodland Park GP

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Here are the details for tent set up this Sunday at Woodland Park GP:
1. View Course Map for location.
2. Tents must be loaded in by 8:00 am.
3. Tents will be placed in the parking spots (on both sides of the street) on the east portion of the drive loop around the picnic area at the park. Tents need to be place going north just after Crossing Two. Tents row will end south of Crossing Three.
4. Trailers can be placed with tents this week. Please park trailers parallel to the curb.
5. You can drop your tent off from your car but please do not park your car with your tent. When done unloading drive out the direction of the one-way road to park you car in lots around the park.
6. Tents will not be allowed in any other area. Especially on the grass North of gravel parking lot at NE 50th Street. This area will be used by series sponsors.
7. Tent Setup in Seattle Parks:
• Tents with blank tops can be set up for no fee (example: a blue tent)
• Tents with club logos that do not promote a commercial licensed for-profit or not-profit organization can be set up for no fee (example: Soft Like Kitten’s tent).
• Tents with logos promoting a commercial licensed for-profit or not-profit organization must pay a $50 fee for each tent (examples: Team Group Health’s or Team Audi’s tent). Payment for these tents will be collected by Zac Daab on site day of race.

Close Series Points Battles at the 2017 Finale

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We have exciting battles in several categories for Series Points Championships going into the finale at Woodland Park GP. Here are the races to watch this Sunday:

Cat 1/2 – 4 pts separate Steve Fisher and Spencer Paxson

Cat 1/2 45+ Men – 4 pts separate Doug Carlton and Craig Undem

Cat 3 35+ Men – 6 pts separate Joshua Simmons and Ruaraidh Stenson

Cat 3 45+ Men – 1 pt separates Peter Benarcik and Keith Heinzelman

Cat 3 Women – 2 pts separate Liz Nettles and Mallory Nowels

Cat 3/4 Women 40+ – 3 pts separate Jane Matera and Malie Greening

Cat 4 35+ Men – 2 pts separate Christopher Quest and Mark Doane

Cat 4 45+ Men – 5 pts separate Cameron James, Colby Titland and Wayne Wakmen

Clydesdale – 2 pts separate Russ Sovde and Jim Bowes

Barring an unexpected collapse (as only seen between Zac Daab and Zach Phillips in 2014 in the Cat 3 35+ Men) or an unfortunate mechanical the winners of the above categories should come from the listed riders. Good luck to all of you on Sunday and may you all have a clean, fair and classy battle.

 

Pre and Post Woodland Park GP Work Party

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We have two Work Parties coming up to take care of Woodland Park pre and post Woodland Park GP.
 
Friday (11/17) will be spreading wood chips for tree protection at 2:00 PM.
 
Next Monday (11/20) at Noon will be spreading wood chips to rehab some areas post race.
 
Please email terry@mfgcyclocross.com if you can help. We need 5-10 people to make short work of these tasks. We will meet in the gravel parking lot off of 50th each day. Thank you.

Race Report: North 40 CX

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Does Snow or Rain Make Better Mud?
Sunday, November 5, 2017
By Nina and Robert Milligan

Foul weather is CX weather. And this day’s cold, rain, and snow brought out over 700 racers to the Marymount Event Center south of Tacoma for race #5 in the MFG Cyclocross 2017 season. It was a nasty day – muddy and cold, indeed a true ‘crosser’s Holy Grail. The waiting through early fall is over for those eager for selfies with muddy faces and kits spattered head to toe straddling mud-covered bikes.

By the midday’s races, the view across the field was partially hidden by curtains of falling snow. But out there could be seen tiny children with parents in pursuit, youth racers, and adults well into their 60’s. As if in a Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet, cyclists were twirling round and round around in the snow and mud, some not so elegantly. And, yeah, smiling.

What are these people thinking?

This “North 40 CX” course, named after an old homesteader’s north 40 acres, featured a long flat grassy field with two muddy and boulder run-ups and two fast downhill legs at opposite ends of the course. Many riders dismounting to climb these hills where breathless, hitting the wall short of oxygen, and succumbing to short-stepping, while others were desperate to leap around them and remount at the top.

The two descents challenged braking skills, pitting die-hard cantilever folks against the converts to disc brakes. With such a build-up of mud and dirt on rims before the descents and hammering the brakes, possibly a few more went home as converts. Atop the hills, the course meandered through woods and after landing back down on the flats continued with grassy twists and turns. As is characteristic in CX, these flat turns became increasingly muddy over the day from rain and snow, causing more sideways wipeouts as the day progressed. Even some elite riders were not exempt. And these afternoon riders were more generously decorated by the terra and best in show for the selfies.

The elite races welcomed a few new faces to the podium after the racers battled through the well-worn lines and slushy mud. The Women’s Cat 1/2 showcased the friendly rivalry between Monica Lloyd (Olympia Orthopaedic Associates/CBC Racing) and Gina Estep (Team Thrive p/b Kaiser Permanente), but not at the get-go. That limelight was all Natasha Cowie’s (Steed Cycles), eking out a first lap win from Lloyd. But after Estep popped into first in the second lap, the tight group of three was controlled by Lloyd and Estep.

Chatting afterwards, Lloyd explained that she was hoping the men would lap them to provide her with a possible lift, one of her successful strategies. And though they didn’t, her opening came in the third to final lap when she spied Estep struggling on the final run-up hill. Estep explained that she was “digging deep,” but simply could not keep up with Lloyd as she passed. In the end, Lloyd took the top of the podium, with Estep in second, Cowie third.

Men’s Cat 1/2 provided its best drama in the first lap. Spenser Paxson (Kona) had the hole shot and felt good about his lead, until he dropped his chain while running over the barriers, not even a third of the way through the course. He dropped from first to dead last. With the confidence of a seasoned winner, Paxson stayed calm and navigated his way through the slower field, clawing back to first position by the third lap, where he dominated through the rest of the race. Parker Bloom (Broad Street Cycles) gave a good chase, closing in on Paxson to secure second place only 11 seconds behind. Stirling Quinn (Ravenna Capital Management) enjoyed his temporary lead while Paxson struggled behind with his mechanical, but soon Paxon and Bloom were breathing down Quinn’s back. Quinn dropped to third, but held on masterfully not allowing much gap to form. When the cold and wet battle came to an end, Paxson won, with Bloom and Quinn in second and third.

So, which makes better mud, snow or rain? Yes.

The event’s lead sponsor was The Athletic Community, the Portland-based maker of super comfortable socks and other top-notch sportswear, https://www.theathleticcommunity.com/.

And many thanks to the Marymount Event Center, host of the venue. It is also a public museum boasting a collection of over 500 vintage cars, trucks, motorcycles and other odd vehicles, part of their larger collection, the finest of which are on display at Tacoma’s LeMay America’s Car Museum. https://www.lemaymarymount.org/.

Also, many thanks to the food vendors, first aid, and our bike techs (to whom this author owes “grats”).

Next up – The famous and beloved Woodland Park GP P/B Sub Pop on Sunday, November 19th, 2017. Join us all there to close out the season.

North 40 CX 2017

Details for North 40 CX

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Here are the details for North 40 CX, November 5, 2017.

Big thank you to The Athletic Community our presenting sponsor of North 40 CX.

Important Venue Rules:
No alcohol.

Directions & Parking:
Please Note: Parking is not accessed from the main entrance of the Marymount Event Center. Please do not park in that lot.

From I-5 North/South take the Puyallup/Mt. Rainier exit (Exit 127) to Highway 512. From HWY 512 take the Pacific Avenue exit toward Spanaway/Parkland. At Pacific Ave S turn right (south). At 138th Street E turn left (east). At 4th Ave E turn right (south) and continue into Parking at the end of the street. Park as directed by race staff.

Registration:
Discounted pricing ends at Midnight Saturday, November 4, 2017.

Register Here:

https://www.webscorer.com/register?raceid=107624

Race day registration can be done online on your own device or on devices provided by MFG Cyclocross at the Registration Area. If you plan to register on site with MFG Cyclocross provided devices please sign up for Webscorer account in advance to help expedite the process.

https://www.webscorer.com/secure/signin?&ReturnUrl=http://www.webscorer.com/profile

ON-SITE REGISTRATION IS CASH, CHECK, or Visa/MasterCard

2017 Cyclocross Race Timing Chip Policy

For the 2017 cyclocross racing season, MFG Cyclocross, Cross Revolution, NW CX Cup and Wednesday Night Worlds will be using the Dual Tag timing chip. If you already have a timing chip from a previous season please have it tested at registration at your first race. If you need a new chip it can be purchased for $5 at Registration and is guaranteed to work for 1 season. In future seasons, chips must be tested at the first race and if they don’t work, a new chip must be purchased.

Please note, this is not a rental charge. The chip is yours to keep. This cost is a direct pass through cost to Center Event for materials and labor.

Chips will be sold on site at each race.

Timing Chips and Bib Numbers:
If this is your first race of the series please stop by Registration to pick-up your bib number and purchase your timing chip.

Both chip and bib must be worn during races. Please make sure you use your MFG Cyclocross series number. Riders not wearing a timing chip or a bib number will be disqualified. Numbers are pinned on the jersey on the back of the left shoulder. Timing chips are to be mounted to the helmet.

Riders racing two categories will be assigned separate bib numbers and chips.

The Course:

Course map: http://www.mfgcyclocross.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/MFG_N40CX_Course_Map-2017.jpg

Some small modifications may be made to the course on race day.

Scavenger Hunt:
Marymount Event Center is a unique venue for cyclocross with the LeMay Family Collection on display throughout the grounds. Fascinating vintage automobiles, machinery and memorabilia can be found in the formal museum and storage yards on site. To that end we will be offering a Scavenger Hunt for your entertainment at this Sunday’s race. Full details will be in the MFG Cyclocross Newspaper available at Customer Service.

Food:
South Beach Cuisine will be on site with a complete menu for breakfast & lunch.

Tripod Coffee will be serving.

Results:
Results will be posted at Customer Service and can be found on race day using www.webscorer.com. The Webscorer app for smartphones is a great way to review results.

Results Review Protocol:

Results will be posted after each race, on-site, approximately 30 minutes after your race finishes and on Webscorer.com. If you believe your result is incorrect, please do ONE of the following

1. Go to our Customer Service tent at registration at the venue. Fill out a Results Review Form by 4:30 pm of race day
2. Send an email to results@mfgcyclocross.com by Monday at Noon PST and include your Name, Chip Number, Bib Number, Racing Category, and a brief explanation of your result.

We will review your result inquiry if one of these two steps are followed.

Prizes:
Race Day Prize:
In 2017 we will be doing prizes, awards and podium presentations for each and every category at all six races. Podium presentations will be done at Customer Service based on this schedule:

• 9:30 AM & 10:20 AM Races – 11:30 AM Podium Presentation
• 11:10 AM & 12:00 PM Races – 1:30 PM Podium Presentation
• 2:10 PM Races – 3:30 PM Podium Presentation
• 2:50 PM Races – 4:00 PM Podium Presentations

Sub Pop “Loser” Prize Packs:
LOSER prize packs from Sub Pop will be awarded to the 5th to Last Rider (i.e. 51st place in 55 rider field) for every race category at all six races in 2017. Presentation will be done at Customer Service after results for each race are posted.

Elite Men and Women’s Payout:

The payout for Men and Women is equal and as follows:
Elite Men and Women, 1st Place: $80
Elite Men and Women, 2nd Place: $60
Elite Men and Women, 3rd Place: $40

Social Media:
The official social media hashtag for MFG Cyclocross 2017 will be #mfgcross. We love to see your experiences at the races so please tag it up.

Find us at:
www.facebook.com/mfgcyclocross
www.instagram.com/mfgcross
www.twitter.com/mfgcross

Tent Setup:
1. View Course Map for location, http://www.mfgcyclocross.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/MFG_N40CX_Course_Map-2017.jpg.
2. Tents must be loaded in by 8:00 am hard stop.
3. Tents will be placed on the north and south side of gravel road that is just south of the Start/Finish stretch.
4. This site is very compact, so we request no support trailers or automobiles at this race in the Tent Area.
5. Tents will not be allowed in any other areas.

Race Report – Magnuson Park Cross

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Sunday, October 15, 2017
By Nina and Robert Milligan

Everyone knows cyclocross is the most social form of bicycle racing. It really showed today at MFG Cyclocross’s Race #4 at Magnuson Park, along the shore of Lake Washington and on a gorgeous 55-degree cloudless day. No rain, no mud today, just grass, gravel and pavement, and full-on social.

On arrival, anyone walking through the long gauntlet of tents immediately sensed the growing buzz. Throngs of racers, friends and family talked intensely, riders weaving through crowds in the narrow alley in both directions, scurrying to prepare for their event. The scene had the atmosphere of a Turkish bazaar, with bartering merchants selling meats hung on racks (the bikes), tents displaying fine linens (team kits and branded clothing), and the aroma of sizzling food and spices (food vendors). There was even a minaret, the scaffolding atop the MFG truck with announcer Alex Walker calling all to gather.
One’s second sense of turned-on social buzz was at the huge starts, with racers queuing up and waiting impatiently for the race official to get them organized. One hundred eighty-one racers crowded up for the four 10:20am starts, sounding like a huge party and talking so loudly it seemed like being in one of Seattle’s largest pubs where one has to yell to be heard.
This thriving community and social spirit embodies the love of ‘cross in the NW. All of the day’s 950 racers (including 141 youth riders) were engaged with one another.

And of course, we had to ask racers, was it social when racing, too? Top Elite Men and Elite Women felt that even in the thick of their battles, they were among well-known friends, ‘hanging out’ for a 60-minute social, giving each other turns at leading and drafting. Many racers said it was only during their last lap that chatter stopped and racing got downright non-social.

Most riders commented about this venue and the dry mud-free day as being like a road race, with long grassy stretches and hard-packed dirt, gravel, and a paved speedway section, a day where higher pressure tires and drafting were winning strategies. Only one dissonant racer, an elite woman who’s more a mountain biker said, “not hilly enough, not muddy enough for me.” Well, the real NW weather is forecast, be patient!

The Men’s Cat 1/2 elites were dominated by Steve Fisher – 1st place (McGovern Cycles/FSA CX), Spencer Paxson 2nd (Kona), and Stephen Ettinger 3rd (Focus/Shimano). All three hung tightly together through the race, trading places and finishing with tight half-second gaps, 1-2-3 – vroom! Fourth place after only three seconds was captured by series newcomer “mystery rider” Joe Maloney (B & L Bicycles/Trek). With two more races in the series, Fisher confidently leads, with Paxon, McCleerey (Ravenna Capital Management), and Ettinger all vying closely for 2nd and 3rd.

Women’s Cat 1/2 elites were a familiar band of top riders, also with very close finishes, won by Monica Lloyd (Olympia Orthopedic Associates), five seconds ahead of Gina Estep 2nd (Group Health) and ten seconds before Stephanie Taplin (Indigenous Wheel Co). These three hung out together the whole race, and on the last hill before the speedway finish Lloyd jumped at the last gravel hill ascent and created the necessary separation to capture a win. In series points, the women’s elite is led by Lloyd; close behind are Estep and Taplin. And so close in points, these leaders will need to work hard in the two remaining races to retain their positions.

Special thanks to lead sponsor NUUN, who provided hydration product trophies and to the food vendors who treated racers and spectators with delicious morning and lunch eats, and coffee drinks. And to the all the volunteers who guided bikes, pedestrians and cars!

Next race on deck is November 5th, North 40 CX P/B THE ATHLETIC, at Marymount Event Center south of Tacoma. Expect a genuine NW ‘cross race that’s colder, wetter and muddier at what is becoming known as one of the best courses in the region.