Early weather reports called for a second day of rain, but it came and went early, allowing for a bit of sun, though not a whole lot of warmth; a different type of cross weather. There was no run up today, but the racers were routed to long climb paved climb that later transitioned to gravel; a longer version of yesterday’s climb. The day’s sun turned sections of the course that were slick yesterday into tacky mud and grass, which made for higher speeds, to the amazement of spectators.
Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) again went bell to bell with what seemed like an effortless ride. And once again, it was Raleigh Clement’s Caroline Mani who took up a solo chase, Elle Anderson (SRAM/Strava) also left to chase the leaders ahead of her with no help, she would eventually finish third. Behind her Washington native Courtenay McFadden (Rock Lobster/American Classics) and Canadian national champ Mical Dyck battled for fourth place, which seemed to be the most contested places for the day. At the front of the race Nash crossed the line 24 seconds ahead of Mani.
In the men’s race Logan Owen (California giant/Specialized) once again set the pace. Yesterday’s winner went out hard and soon reduced the men’s field to a group of three, which included Jonathan Page (Page/Fuji Racing) and Zach McDonald (Streamline Insurance). The trio took turns at the front, and seemed to take turns attacking each other, but no one was able to make a true separation. Half way through the hour and six minutes of racing McDonald suffered a mechanical taking him out of the group. A lap latter Owen had dispatched Page, and rode to the line alone. Page ran out of gas on the last lap, which allowed Jamey Driscoll to overtake the former national champ, making day two’s podium a traced image of day before.
In local news, Russell Stevenson (Trek CXC) took the win both days in the Men’s Open race, followed by Aaron Bradford who took second on Saturday and Sunday. Rad Racing found itself on the third step both days, with Calder Wood taking the third spot on Saturday, and Scott Funston with the honors on Sunday. These juniors have stepped up, this year and will soon be giving the big local names a run for their money.
Most of fast local women, opted for the Elite races this weekend leaving the Open field open for out-of-towners. On Saturday the podium was comprised of Ann Kennedy, Stephanie Uetrecht (Twin Six) and Julie Baird took first, second and third respectively. On day two it was Stephanie Uetrecht who landed on the tallest step, with Ann Kennedy taking second and Oregon’s Laura Trace (Team Oregon p/b Laurelwood Brewing Co) finishing third.
Next week we go back to good old MFG Cyclocross action when the series finale comes to its traditional home, Woodland Park. The lower bouts of the men’s overall podium are still up for grabs, with less than ten points separating fourth through second place. In the women’s race 333Fab CX’s Heidi Wood will be looking to upset Kristen Kelsey (Axiom HVAC/Cycle U), and Hagens Berman/Society Consulting’s Kenda Super will be hope to hang on to the final podium spot.