Magnuson Park Cross Race Report

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Sunday, more than a thousand racers took to the course at Warren G Magnunson Park for the fourth stop in the MFG Cyclocross series. The course at the former Naval base saw some major changes from years past, which made for a fast, fun—and at times slick course that spent the day beset by the a near constant drizzle, with the occasional passing rain shower. Not a single racer finished the day with a clean kit.

The spectator friendly course had was lined with team tents and offered plenty of spots for good spectating, but the favorite spot was at the far west end of the park, where racers climbed up a small hill featuring two slightly off camber descents that tested the skills of the lower categories.

The women’s race sorted its self out quickly, with five women, led by Nemesis Racing’s Andi Zolton, quickly gaping the other women in the field. The group of women, included Axiom HVAC/Cycle U’s series leader Kristen Kelsey, Heidi Wood (333Fab Factory CX Team), and Maggie Coles-Lyster (Local Ride Racing) who was down from Canada. The traditionally fast and dry course, was slick in sections, but drafting and large groups still played a role in the race. The biggest challenge for the women was navigating the other categories on the course, as the fast group cleared portions of the course with more speed than the lower categories. A problem with the lap timer caused some confusion, and when Coles-Lyster and Zolton went, others thought there was still a lap to go. Coles-Lyster topped Zolton in the sprint, and Heidi Wood crossed the line in third.

Like last year, Zach McDonald made a local appearance at the race. McDonald, who is without a bike sponsor this year, rode his personal 26 inch hardtail mountain bike, which didn’t stop him from leading for a majority of the hour plus race. As in the women’s race, it was a group of five that animated the race. The group with Steve Fisher (Raleigh/FSA CX) and Rad Racing’s Junior National Champion Scott Funston were content to let McDonald set the pace. Fisher was patient, and with two laps to go launched a strong attack, leaving the group to chase. The under geared McDonald tried to chase, but was left in no-man’s land, as Fisher rode to victory. Recycled Cycles Racing Rory Jack put on a strong performance and finished third.

In two weeks the MFG Cyclocross Series moves to the LeMay Family Collection Foundation, the grounds of vintage auto museum, for the penultimate race of the series. Kristen Kelsey (Axiom HVAC/Cycle U) has a four point lead over 333Fab’s Heidi Wood, with Nemesis’ Andi Zolton nine points down on Kelsey.

Fisher (Raleigh/FSA CX) further solidified his lead on the series and now has 37 point lead on Mitchell Thornton (Dyna Racing) who moved into second place, while Cascadia Racing’s Kelly Nowles fell to third, seven points down on Thornton.

Sponsor Spotlight: Coal Headwear

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MFG Sponsor:   Coal Headwear


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In 2002 Coal started as a labor of love in an apartment in Portland, Oregon. In Coal’s first year, they launched the brand with a vision for a quality headwear line inspired by friends and family—one that would be an outlet for our whole new take on the woolen, knit beanie. Coal was founded on the belief that headwear is more than an accessory.  It’s part of you, your identity, and your lifestyle.

Why we like Coal Headwear

Coal’s Fall 2015 collection of hats is extensive.   They offer hats, caps, and a variety of other styles.   We particularly like the Freezin in the Team Jamaica livery, as well as the Nations knit hat in Japan colors.

Five things you should know about Coal Headwear:

  1. Their hats are available at Evo.
  2. They offer collections for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.
  3. They also offer scarfs and gloves.
  4. The hats have cool names.
  5. Randy Salomon likes The Preston.

Beat the Hodala Rider at Magnuson Park Cross

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Brouwers Cafe is back in 2015 hosting the Beat The Hodala rider challenge. Each week we will feature a Hodala team rider racing in a different category. All riders who “Beat The Hodala Rider” will be entered into a drawing for a Brouwer’s gift

At Magnuson Park Cross, Kelsey Wood will be the Hodala rider to beat in the Clydesdale Class at 10:10 am. Check the results board for the posted winner at the venue, and pick up your GC at our Customer Service tent.

Team Tents at Magnuson Park Cross

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Here are the details for tent set up this Sunday at Magnuson Park Cross:

1. View Course Map for location.
2. Tents must be loaded in by 8:00 am.
3. Tents will be placed on the west and east side of Lake Shore Drive running North from Course Crossing #4 (X4 on Course Map). We need a walking path left down the middle. Tents one deep on each side. If we overflow this area tents will go one deep along the south, west perimeter of Parking Lot E4 at the end of Lake Shore Drive.
4. Team cars that will at the venue all day can park in the center parking spots in Parking Lot E4 at the end of Lake Shore Drive.
5. No trailers or cars in line with tents this week. Team cars and trailers can be parked in center spots of Parking Lot E4 at the end of Lake Shore Drive. The front half of this lot will be used for the Vendor Expo. Cars will not be able to leave this lot until the final race is finished.
6. Tents will not be allowed in any other area.
7. Reminder that branded tents advertising commercial organizations can only erected for a fee of $50 per tent and must be booked in advance at Webscorer. This is a discounted price from City of Seattle Parks. To understand standard fees please see fee structure for promotions in City of 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 / for-profit organization can be set up for no fee (example: Soft Like Kitten’s tent).
  • Tents with logos promoting a commercial organization must pay a $50 fee per tent (example: Team Audi’s tent). Spots for these tents must be purchased in advance at

Sponsor Spotlight: Element Cycles

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What Element Cycles does

Element Cycles is the 2015 MFG Elite Men and Women’s sponsor.   Each week, leaders will be crowned with leaders jerseys from Castelli, with Element Cycles proudly displayed throughout the jersey.

Element Cycles was formerly Sammamish Valley Cycles and is now nestled in their new location at 8215 160th Ave NE in Redmond.   Element Cycles works with the following bicycle vendors: BMC, Bianchi, Cervelo, Sage Cycles, Santa Cruz, Pinarello, Focus, Moots and Norco. 

Why we like Element Cycles

A quick glance at the new Element Cycles webpage makes it clear that Element is not only dedicated to the high-end road enthusiast market, but also the high end mountain market with brands like Santa Cruz and BMC.  Element Cycles new location is very cleanly designed, is filled with great bikes, and has a dedicated professional service area.

Five things you should know about Element Cycles

  1. Element Cycles is your one-stop shop for mountain brands like Santa Cruz and Norco.
  2. Element Cycles email address is:
  3. Element Cycles is your Eastside source for BMC Bicycles.
  4. Element Cycles has recently introduced their E-Lab indoor training studio.
  5. Element Cycles helped contribute to an equal cash purse for the Elite Men and Women’s races throughout the MFG season.

Race Report: Brian Tracy Experience

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Round three of 2015 MFG Series, along with 730 racers, arrived at, Everett’s Thornton A. Sullivan park, for a technically demanding course on the shores of Silver Lake, that this year, went by the name The Brian Tracy Experience in honor of—you guessed it—Brian Tracy, a racer and friend of MFG Cyclocross, who is currently battling cancer. Mr. Tracy was among the spectators, set up at the end of the second sand pits, where the course was marked in a green tape bearing his visage with the words “Be Positive”, which is how Brian has approached his diagnosis from day one.

This year the Brian Tracy Experience was two trips across the beach, climbs thick with grass and several descents that were, loose, dusty and, at times steep. To succeed on this course one needed legs that can survive being repeatedly abused by the punchy climbs and the ability to keep their handling skills sharp as they attempted to get their heart rates back down below the red. And that was before the sand. Those that had a hard time managing those skills were spurred on by small cheering squads peppered throughout the spectator friendly course.

In woman’s race it was Kristen Kelsey (Axiom HVAC/Cycle U North) who managed those skills better than the rest, after coming to the front midway through the race. At the start of the race it was Nemesis Racing’s Andi Zolton who took control early, working through the tricky course free of any traffic, while Ten Speed Hero’s Tricia Fleischer and Kelsey chased. Soon Zolton began to fade, and was passed by the two chasing women. Kelsey was hard to match on a course that she has dominated in years past. Fleischer followed in second, with Zolton—who suffered a crash—followed some twenty-five seconds behind.

The men’s race saw the return of Russell Stevenson (Trek CX Collective), who brought a fight to Raleigh/FSA CX’s Steve Fisher. The pair kept each other close throughout the technical course, with Fisher leading for the majority of the race. Fisher and Stevenson may have been battling it out at the front, but it was Aaron Bradford, who animated the crowd. Bradford, who was racing on single speed, chased, caught, and then blew by the pair, late in the race. He was able to hold that gap for half a lap, until Stevenson attacked Fisher, who suffered an untimely flat just after passing the pit. Stevenson was able to bridge, and then pass Bradford, as he navigated the course tricky descents, while Fisher pitted for a new bike. At the end of the day it was Stevenson who was victorious, coming across the line with enough time to sit up celebrate. Bradford came in eight seconds down, and Fisher finished a comfortable third.

MFG takes another bye week this coming weekend, and then comes back within Seattle city limits for Magnuson Park CX, a fast course on the shores of Lake Washington. Fisher is comfortably first in the series standings with 86 points, his closest competitor, Cascadia Bicycling Team’s Kelly Nowles, is twenty two points down on Fisher. In the women’s race it is Kelsey with the points lead, but 333Fab CX team rider Heidi Woods is only six points down, with Andi Zolton another seven points back on Woods. Halfway through the series and the women’s race is still up for grabs.

derekblagg_MFG_BTexperience-26 “It’s weird seeing my face everywhere, but the support is incredible,” Brian Tracy (photo by Derek Blagg)

derekblagg_MFG_BTexperience-50 Kristen Kelsey (Axiom HVAC/Cycle U) leads Fleicher (Ten Speed Hero) out of the first sand pit. (photo by Derek Blagg)

derekblagg_MFG_BTexperience-64 Aaron Bradford animated the race on his Single Speed. (photo by Derek Blagg)

derekblagg_MFG_BTexperience-63Russell Stevenson leads Fisher through one of the course’s technical descent (photo by Derek Blagg)

Sponsor Spotlight: Deschutes Brewery

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What Deschutes does

Deschutes Brewery, located in Central Oregon along the banks of the wild and scenic Deschutes River, has brewed a family of handcrafted ales since 1988. Starting out as a small brewpub in the heart of downtown Bend, Deschutes’ first beers were Black Butte Porter, Bachelor Bitter and Cascade Golden Ale.
Now Deschutes offers NINE year-round offerings:

  • Black Butte Porter
  • Mirror Pond Pale Ale
  • Inversion IPA
  • Obsidian Stout
  • Chainbreaker IPA
  • Deschutes River Ale
  • Armory Ale
  • Cinder Cone Red Ale
  • Pine Mountain Pilsner

Why we like Deschutes

When you visit Bend, Oregon, it seems super likely that you’d stop by the brew pub to have a meal and a drink. If you do, be sure to sample the Ultimate Pub Fries and the House-Baked Pretzel to get things started. The atmosphere is uniquely Bend at the Public House:  laid back, friendly, with most patrons having a lower heart than yours.

Deschutes has been extremely generous to MFG and to StarCrossed, and to cyclocross in general. Even after being a major sponsor and host to a national caliber event like CX Nats in 2009 and in 2010, Deschutes still dedicates time, effort, and money to other cyclocross events on the regional and local level.

At MFG this year, Deschutes generously offered select and random pre-registered riders 6-packs BEFORE they even started racing!

Deschutes clearly loves cyclocross and has been so supportive of MFG.

Five things you should know about Deschutes

  1. Black Butte Porter, Bachelor Bitter, and Cascade Golden Ale were the OG three beers back in 1988.
  2. Red Chair NWPA is a more subtle, less-hoppy pale, which is available seasonally.
  3. Black Butte XXVII (Special Reserve) is 11.6% ABV!
  4. Deschutes Brewery Brewmaster is Larry Sidor
  5. Deschutes mobile beer tavern is named Woody and can be found here.

Beat the Hodala Riders at Brian Tracy Experience

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Brouwers Cafe is back in 2015 hosting the Beat The Hodala rider challenge. Each week we will feature a Hodala team rider racing in a different category. All riders who “Beat The Hodala Rider” will be entered into a drawing for a Brouwer’s gift card.

At Brian Tracy Experience, Theresa Harding will be the Hodala rider to beat in the Women 35+ race at 1:50 pm and Ben Popper in the Cat 1/2 Men at 2:45 pm. Check the results board for the posted winner at the venue, and pick up your GC at our Customer Service tent.

Team Tents at Brian Tracy Experience

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  1. Tents need to be load in by 8:30. Load in off of Silver Lake Road through the gate. See diagram for traffic flow.
  2. Tent locations are show on diagram. Please run two rows of tents in the area along from the Start-Finish stretch.
  3. Please start setting up tents at the far end towards the Start Line.
  4. Please hold the tent 5′ off the course tape and run two rows back to back.
  5. Please butt tents up to each other whenever possible. We have over 50 tents to get into these areas.
  6. No vehicles or trailers can be used in the Team Tent Area this week. The site is too tight.
  7. If you set up outside this area Zac Daab will take your tent down “east coast style”.



Be Positive T-Shirt Sales at Brian Tracy Experience

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We look forward to seeing all of you this weekend at the Brian Tracy Experience. Our friend Brian Tracy will be on-site throughout the day making sure everyone is staying POSITIVE!

We will be selling t-shirts for $20 at MFG Customer Service tent all day. All net proceeds go directly towards brain cancer research projects selected by Brian and Kim at the University of Washington or Fred Hutchinson.