Leavenworth was the venue for two days of cyclocross racing on September 22-23, starting with a NW CX Cup, a USAC-sanctioned race, and the next day MFG’s second race of the season. This venue was distinguished by some interesting features. First, it ranks as the most distant MFG race, a 2.5-hour drive from Seattle. Racers braving this were rewarded by an authentic Bavarian village, known for well-stocked beer pubs and authentic brauts, everything a cyclocross racer would enjoy. And many crashed there, overnight that is.
But perhaps the most interesting feature of the Leavenworth venue was its boast worthy race elevation gain. This isn’t referring to its meager 1200’ altitude (unlike Boulder’s mile high), but its cumulative vertical feet a rider recorded during each race. Completing six laps would show 2,000’ of gain.
When arriving and setting up at the base of this hill (appropriately named, “Ski Hill”), peering up, one could spy riders climbing testing out the steep inclines, some able to stay in the saddle, others shouldering bikes, but all clearly digging deep. Slopes to the right must have been a beginner skill hill, where a rope tow comes out when there’s snow. Back on the left, one could imagine a chairlift. Racers that day lamented the challenge (or crowed their feats) and shared various techniques for staying in the saddle during the climbs and not dismounting.
The women’s elite race featured several of our top NW racers, including cyclocross national champion Monica Lloyd (Olympia Orthopaedic Associates), taking a commanding lead early and capturing first place by three minutes over Stephanie Taplin (Indigenous Wheel Co.). Third place was Laura Jeddeloh (MD Endurance Coaching).
The men’s elite races were closer, but slowly stretched out as the hills ate away chasers and pacers, leaders demonstrating sheer hill-climbing quadricep strength. Kevin Bradford-Parish (Set Coaching/FSA) topped the podium with nearly a two-minute lead over Derek Parsons (Cliff Bar), and followed in third by Ian Tubbs (Audi), just ten seconds behind.