In a display of perfect cyclocross weather, Saturday’s temperatures plummeted into the low 40’s, and rain fell steadily, beginning the night before the race. Winds picked up along the heavily exposed riverside course. The sandy soil of the levee was soaked and the turf left a bit slick. Needless to say, the inclement weather, paired with the remote location of the race limited turnout in many fields. However, new faces continue to emerge at each race, and it is great to see ridership in the series expanding.
The course was stretched out over roughly 3/4 of a mile of river levee, in Monroe’s Forsythe Park. The turnaround at the far end was marked by a sweeping uphill turn around a large oak, and a steep, turbulent descent over loose dirt and gnarly roots towards the chilly river. Largely due to the weather and course conditions, Director Wes McWhorter decided not to place barriers on the course. Two volleyball courts, one submerged in six inches of icy water, a stair run-up with optional ride-up, and a couple of challenging climbs created ample necessity to dismount. The circuit was characterized by a couple short but steep climbs, and two consecutive points where the course zig-zagged over a steep and grassy lip on the river levee. The key to success on this course was the ability to negotiate these sections while dismounting as little as possible, despite the wet, sandy course offering little traction. A short stretch of asphalt balanced advantages between MTB and CX, leveling the field somewhat.
Cat 4/5 Men
In perhaps the most competitive race of the day, leaders exchanged places over half a dozen times over the 4 lap, 30 minute race. Richard Carman (Rouler Racing) took the holeshot, and led the field out to the turnaround, where he ceded his position to Chris Snider (Rouler Racing) and Jeremy Wesson (Revolution Racing). Aside from this , Nearly all other position changes occurred on the steep ascent and descent near the Finish, or the grassy lip along the levee. Wesson took the lead for a final time late in the race, and refused to give it back, riding away for a 1st Place finish. Snider passed Carman, who had gone down mounting the lip, and put down a significant gap. In a last ditch, vomit-inducing effot, Carman hammered out the gap, overtaking Snider in the last half lap. Snider kept pressure on all the way to the end, with the leaders finishing slightly ahead of the pack.
Cat 4/5 M Leaderboard
1st – Jeremy Wesson (Revolution Racing)
2nd – Richard Carman (Rouler Racing)
3rd – Chris Snider (Rouler Racing)
**Immediately after the Cat 4/5 race, I yakked up a cup of hot coffee and peanut butter bars. Most of the remainder of the day was spent shivering in various cars and coughing uncontrollably, rather than paying close attention to what was happening in the harsh outdoors. I really have only vague ideas what happened the rest of the day, and Boedi was attending a wedding. So in lieu of our regular reporting, here are leaderboards and a video of yours truly ejecting his brekkie. – Rich**
New guys dominated the Masters’ podium. Our new buddy Jeremy Polk (Revolution Racing) managed to snag a spot on the bottom row.
1st – Russell Wilford (Fulcrum Coaching)
2nd – Tim O’Hara
3rd – Jeremy Polk (Revolution Racing)
Matt Gandy (The Bike Crossing) was sick as a dog but still ran away with this race, while simultaneously winning the Cat 4 Booger Dangle.
1st – Matt Gandy (The Bike Crossing)
2nd – Travis Johnson (Bicycle Michael’s)
3rd – Jason Shearer
Rosanne Simons (Nola Lending Racing) returned to reclaim her place atop the podium. Christine Moser (Rouler Racing) snagged her first podium of the series.
1st – Rosanne Simons (Nola Lending Racing)
2nd – Christine Moser (Rouler Racing)
3rd – Lua Walter
Cat 4 + Cat 1/2/3 Men
These fields were combined due to low turnout and it made for an interesting race. Will Sheftall continued with the savagery, nearly lapping the entire field. In a bit of an upset, Robinson Sudan, Skip Town, and perhaps a few other Cat 4 riders finished between the 2nd and 3rd place riders in Cat 1/2/3, raising questions about how the payout/point system works, and driving home the value of catting up and competing in the highest category possible.
Cat 4M Leaderboard
1st – Robinson Sudan (Rouler Racing)
2nd – Skip Town aka Sean Brock
3rd – Matt Gandy (The Bike Crossing)
Cat 1/2/3M Leaderboard
1st – Will Sheftall (Raising Cane’s Racing)
2nd – Anderw Sorey (Absolute Racing)
3rd – Ross Livingston (The Bike Crossing)
December 14 marks the final race in the Delta State Grand Prix of Cyclocross, the District Championship in Natchez, MS. While some Categories are more solidified than others, nothing is set in stone, and much is yet to be decided. Next weekend is for all the bacon. Good luck to all who will be putting it on the line.
Yeah You Ride