Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spooky Cross Saturday Review...

You may have already seen the previous post about the costumed racers at Spooky Cross, but that was just the beginning of the days (and evenings) festivities. Saturday evenings races also served as the final competition in the Cross After Dark series, and both of the final waves carried UCI ranking points. The organizers did their usual bang-up job at laying out a super challenging course; though I don't recall any mud, it had pretty much everything else - fast straights, tight turns, off-camber corners, barriers, steps, sand, gravel, steep up and down slopes, even a massive over-and-under construction. It could be very tricky. Besides all that, there was live music, pumpkin carving, savory Korean bbq burritos, a big expo area. Just a full day.

There were three groups racing in the first Wave of the day, Jr. Men 15-18, Jr. Men and Women 10-14, and Youths U10. There are some strong riders up and coming, and the depth of the fields suggests a strong future for cyclocross in the U.S. I saw some crashes at some of the tricky sections of the course in the younger category, but every rider picked themselves up and carried on. You can see some of those crashes, as well as other photos here.

the eyes don't lie, she is focused

hold on, you mean i have to go up there now?

when you are first across the line, like junior Tyler Coplea
you can give a victory salute

The second wave on the day was the Men C, CX4 beginner race. I see some people moving up a category pretty soon. A couple photos are below, more in a slideshow, here.

eventual men's 'c' victor, Roman Cantelorist, charges the steps

top of the fly-over headed down, whooooo

Wave three, the Master's Men 'B', consisted of three groups, 35+, 45+CX3/4, and 55+. Some big fields with tough competition. A couple shots below, and click here for the slideshow.

like twists and turns? this course had plenty, including this
one with a nasty, off-camber slope

eventual master men's 'b' 35+ victor, James Sabelis, clears the barriers

The 4th Wave had a whole lot of riders circling the course, and consisted of the non-UCI Men A 1-4, the Men 35+ A 1-4, 45+ A, and the Men B 3/4 groups. Could you imagine keeping track of all that without a computer? Anyway, fast and furious, describes the action. Three photos below, and slideshow here.

eventual non-uci men's 'a' victor, Oliver Hutchinson, in the sand

while Johnny O'Mara churned through the sand on this pass,
everyone else ran. O'Mara went on to win the Master Men 45+ race

my only podium shot from the day - non-UCI Men 'A'
1.Oliver Hutchinson, 2. Alex Darville, 3. Josh Cady

The non-UCI Women A CX1-4, B CX3/4, C CX4, and the Women 35+ and 45+ groups comprised Wave 5. It was beginning to darken by this time, shadows were lengthening, but that certainly was not stopping the racers from charging the course full on. A couple pics below to get you in the mood, and a slideshow of more, here. Wow, I almost forgot, actually did forget, but then remembered after the fact, in that Women's A race Katrina Baumsteiger built up a sizable lead for herself. All of a sudden the announcers start getting all excited and yelling, so everyone looks down the finishing straight, and here comes Katrina running and carrying her bike. She had an impossibly far distance to go in order to make it back to the pits, but managed to finish 4th anyway. Never did find out what the problem was. It was quite a race.

dollar hand out

Wave Six was all about the single-speed, that group I keep wavering about running with. You can check the two photos below, and jump here, for a slideshow.

Dorothy Wong, rocking on the s.s.

they emerged out of the darkness, riding single-speed 
bicycles, and hell followed in their wake

The UCI races ended the festivities, with the Women taking the course first. Some familiar names challenged for the points including Teal Stetson-Lee, Sue Butler, Allison Mann, and from all the way across the Atlantic, French National Champion, Caroline Mani. Check the pics below, and jump to the slideshow here. Mani finished 1st, followed by Butler and Stetson-Lee.

running through the sand with bike on shoulder,

or by your side

they emerged out of the darkness, and at the end of the night
they returned to the darkness

Yes, there was a Wave 8, UCI Men, but it ran without my presence, so I have no photos of the racing. There are a literal handful of warm-up photos here, if you want to see those.

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