How would you like to ride your bike through nearly a mile of soft sand as fast as you can? Are we talking about cyclocross racing? Yes, and it happened at Lake Sammamish State Park (east of Seattle) on September 8 and 9, at MFG’s trademark Northwest cyclocross racing season-opener. The mega sand was the headliner for this venue and clearly what everyone was talking about. “Did you ride it or run it?”, was the refrain.
This entirely flat race course was used for the double-header racing weekend promoted by MFG Cyclocross. Day one was the first NW CX Cup series race for USAC-sanctioned racing, for racers earning points. And day two was MFG Cyclocross’s first of their six-race series. And that sand thing? How much sand? NW CX Cup had three sand pits along the beach totaling over 600’ and separated by three quick grassy interludes and barricades. How many laps? Elite racers rode eight laps, 4,800’, or 9/10ths of a mile! Less than one-half was ridden, the rest run, and later in the day many were seen walking as they exited.
Top leaders of USAC-sanctioned NW CX Cup Men’s Open (elite) 1-2-3 finishers were Derek Parsons of Cliff Bar, David Howard of Tenspeed Hero, and Garrett Sczechowski of Dyna Racing. The Women’s Open (elite), 1-2-3 finishers were Monica Lloyd of Olympia Orthopaedic Assoc., Ivy Audrain of Speedvagen Factory Racing Team, and Karine Valliantsaunders of Liquid Velo. Turnout out NW CX Cup was 221 racers, 50’s and gray skies, but after the word spread about the cyclocross beach party, turnout for MFG Cyclocross was over 746 riders, who enjoyed racing on the beach under blue skies and 65 degrees.
MFG Cyclocross’s leaders in the Women’s Elite 1-2-3 were Mindy McCutcheon, Meredith Miller of RCCBDR, and Monica Lloyd of Olympia Orthopaedic Assoc. Men’s Elites 1-2-3 were Michael Van Den Ham of Garneau-Easton P/B Transitions Life Ca., Steve Fisher of McGovern Cycles/FSA CX, and Stephen Mull.
Next year, bring your bikini kit!