2012 Night Weasels Cometh Cyclocross

Last night, I did my first Night Weasels Cometh cyclocross race. In three years, this has become a New England semi-classic. The night format on the Wednesday between the big Grand Prix of Gloucester and Providence Cyclo-cross Festival is unique and fun.

Horst Engineering and Seven Cycles teammate and colleague, Art Roti, turned me on to this race after he did it last year in deep mud. We both just did the Vermont 50 on Sunday, so the legs were heavy, but we still headed to Ski Ward in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts after work last night.

Our teammates, Matt Domnarksi and Pat Cunningham opted for the 40+ Category 1/2/3 race while we did the 35+ Category 3 race. Our race started at 6:30 P.M. and it was pitch black 20 minutes into the race. We started with all Cat 3’s, so there were 85 starters and the hole-shot was important. Our other teammate, Paul Nyberg, supported us with cheers from the pit.

I had an OK start, and moved up quickly on the first and second laps. I settled in and was patient as the grassy course got more slippery. It was misting at the start and a light drizzle continued throughout the race. We had heavier rain during the day and earlier in the week, so the ground was wet already. Being a ski slope, the course was hilly. It was little ring riding most of the time. Essentially there were three sets of barriers. All required dismounts.  They had some lights set up, but the far side of the course was completely in the dark.

I opted not to wear my glasses (clear lens), which was a good choice. I didn’t bring a pit bike, so I had to rely on my Seven Tsunami. It didn’t get mucked up until the last lap when the grass was tangled around my crankset. I never had any problems with my shifting and I only struggled with my pedals a few times. I never crashed, though I avoided a few near disasters when other riders went down in front of me. I had to clip out a few times and put a foot down, and I’m glad I used long Horst Spikes in my Sidi shoes because I had to run several times.

I thought I was farther up, but they ultimately had me 14th in my age group and 31st overall in my race. I lapped several riders and hope they didn’t end up in front of me in the results. It was a challenge for them to keep track over the course of seven laps because they allowed riders to stay in, which is OK because it is just for fun. Art had a good ride and wasn’t far behind me.

I’ve now done as  many cross races this season (two) as I have done in the previous two seasons combined. It is great to be back out there. I’ve got a pretty full season planned, though I’m sticking to the smaller events. Night Weasels was a ton of fun. We stuck around to watch the women’s race which started following our race. Mo Bruno-Roy, who is a pro on Team Seven, crushed the competition. It was nice to see Laura Summers, teammate Wade Summers track star spouse, dicing it up with the cross women.

We also watched the Men’s 1/2/3 race which started at 8:30 P.M. They had the sloppiest conditions with heavier rain, and it was really dark. It was a raucous crowd, which made it a lot of fun. There was a beer garden at the finish line and the Ski Ward folks served up post-race food. Justin Lindine put the hammer down on the competition and had a nice win.

Race Results

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