Cycle-Smart International Cyclocross, Day 2

I’m so glad to not have mud everywhere. The past two cross races have left me with grit in my teeth and my gears. Yesterday and today (especially today) were a different story. Today felt like summer. It was actually dusty on the course! Day 2 of the Cycle-Smart International Cyclocross was spectacular. The weather conditions in Northampton, Massachusetts couldn’t have been better. I wore a skinsuit for the second day in a row and it was noticeably warmer. The temperature rose to the high-60’s (F) and people were lounging around in shorts thanks to the brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies.

The future of cyclocross.

Kids Podium.

Cyclocross is supposed to be cold, windy, and wet, but no one was complaining today. Once again, I did the 35+ race with teammates Wade Summers and Matt Domnarski. Wade had a fine ride to lead our little group. Matt and I finished close together, but a ways back in the pack. Matt was the victim of a couple of crashes, including one where his tire rolled off the rim. He fought back and caught me on the last lap. I felt a little better today, but was still slow. I neglected to put my heart rate monitor on, so I didn’t get any HR data to compare with yesterday. The top three were a little different. Roger Aspholm took first. Matt Kraus was second and Kevin Hines took third. Yesterday’s winner, Jonny Bold, was fourth.

Verge Finish Line.

Mary McConneloug powers up the hill.

Unlike yesterday, when we left early to explore Northampton, we stayed to watch the elite races. I got to break out my camera and take some photos. The women’s race was very entertaining with Mary McConneloug taking her second win in a row. Laura Van Gilder was second and Natasha Elliot was third. Mary opened an early gap and was able to hold it by riding all of the toughest obstacles, including the sand pit and the uphill. It was impressive to watch these top women tackle the course. A fair number of spectators stayed to watch, but cyclocross isn’t like the old days when everyone who raced earlier in the day would stay to go nuts for the elites.

Women's Chasers.

Mary Wins!

Mary gets interviewed.

The men’s race started out wildly for the second day in a row. There was another crash in the opening 50 meters of the race (on the pavement) that eliminated several top riders from contention. Adam Craig, a top-level mountain biker, was one of the big names that lost time to the crash. It was a shame to see such a big pileup of guys that should know how to handle their bikes. At least one rider was taken away in an ambulance. A touch of a wheel or a rub of the bars is all it takes to go down when you are packed in tight. These guys are so aggressive and they let it all hang out in an effort to get that hole shot. I know that most of these guys are young, but wait till they settle down and have kids…they will probably mellow out.

The big pileup on Day 2.

Jamey Driscoll leads.

Jamey Driscoll won today after taking second yesterday. He was followed by Nicholas Weighall and Derrick St. John. Today’s race was faster because there was one less run up and the course was drier. That made the gaps closer, though Driscoll was never really challenged. The speed at which these top guys ride is truly amazing. Their power and form is really top-notch, which is the combination required to excel at cyclocross.

The Chase Group.

Adam Craig clears the tracks.

The elite races were fun, but I think the most entertaining event was the kids race. They had a dedicated course set up so that the little guys could challenge themselves at cross. Our guys are a bit too young, but we thoroughly enjoyed watching the other little cyclists attack the cross course.

Riding the hill.

The hurdles.

Look Park was glorious again. Our family took the time to explore the various playgrounds and the zoo. Chanced are that the rain and mud will be back next weekend, but for a day, it dry, sunny, and fabulous.

The Zoo.

Day 2 Race Results

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@trailrunningmom led another successful #Yoga at #Sunset for the #boltonlandtrust This year's venue was the #BoltonHeritageFarm It's been a tradition to move to a new spot each time. I got my first #cyclocross ride of the year in too! #yogini #yogi #shavasana Sightseeing on my second favorite road in #Connecticut #grassyhill #cycling #bicycle #sevencycles #horstengineering Camp was swell! @thecubscouts @boyscoutsofamerica #cubscouts #boyscouts #junenorcrosswebster I visited the new HQ of the @appalachianmountainclub that is under construction at 10 City Square in #Charlestown I had to ride by the #BunkerHill Monument at the end of the #FreedomTrail #Boston #sevencycles First time at the People's Forest Trail Race since 2011. This first image is the look of a dejected man who lost 25 minutes with a wrong turn on a big descent. That's costly in an 11 kilometer race. Even worse is that @trailrunningmom is the one who led him (and two other runners) off course! They survived. It was a nice day on the #FarmingtonRiver. #trailrunning #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders πŸƒπŸ»β›°πŸ† Another great #sunset at #windingtrails Two distant pre-swim thunderclaps turned the race into a #Duathlon which suited me just fine! It's nice to not come into T1 with a two minute deficit. #Triathlon #mountainbiking #trailrunning #teamhorstsports Once again, @trailrunningmom took the cookie prize for winning the special summit competition at the finish line of the #shenipsitstriders #SoapstoneAssault Here is a picture of a picture of myself taking a picture. @cwoodside59 put together a nice piece for the @ctforestandparkassociation quarterly. I'm looking forward to my next #carfreecommute #selfie #bicycle #windingtrails Kid's #Triathlon

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