West Hill Shop (Putney) Cyclocross

Yesterday’s West Hill Shop Cyclocross Race was my 9th race on the classic Putney course. They have held the race 19 times, so the simple math says that I have missed 10 of them. After taking 2008 off from cyclocross, I’m happy to be back at it, even if it is just for fun. The Putney, Vermont race is one that I didn’t want to miss. It isn’t as large as it used to be and it doesn’t attract as many elite riders (because of competition from races outside of New England), but it still has the best vibe.

2009_West Hill Shop Cyclocross 4 - Version 2

The course is laid out around the bike shop, and through the surrounding woods and fields. The course has a classic run up and classic descent. The tight turns make for a fun and challenging loop. Plus, it is in Putney, VT. What could be better? It was a ho hum race for me. I just don’t have the speed for cross right now. I haven’t trained and I’m a bit worn out from the long season. Putney was my 31st race of the year, and with more cyclocross races, the Manchester Road Race, Santa’s Run, Scrooge Scramble and maybe another running race, I’ll be close to 40 by year-end.

Matt Domnarski

My body is sort of telling me to wind it down, but I’m doing cross just for fun. Manchester’s Thanksgiving Day Road Race is my last big objective, but it really isn’t an objective at all. I run it every year and haven’t trained for it in a long time.

With cyclocross, there is no pressure to perform, though when the starter yells, “Go,” I give it my all. I had two teammates in the race yesterday. Matt Domnarski, my shadow from last week, rode much stronger yesterday on the more technical West Hill Shop course. He was 13th in our field. Paul Nyberg was in the Masters 45+ race, but that didn’t stop him from starting a minute back with his field, and then catching me by the end of the race to finish at the same time.

Paul Nyberg

The owners of the West Hill Shop have done a nice job at upgrading the place while maintaining the charm of the classic store. The shop was packed with cool bike and ski items. If you are ever headed north on Interstate 91, take the time to stop at Exit 4. The shop is right off the exit ramp. You won’t regret the experience.

2009_West Hill Shop Cyclocross 38 - Version 2

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