2013 Cycle-Smart International Cyclocross

The Verge New England Cyclocross Series rolled into Northampton, Massachusetts for the 23rd Cycle-Smart International, the first big event of November. I did both Day 1 and Day 2 this weekend at Look Park. I did race director, Adam Myerson’s, Cycle-Smart predecessor race at the University of Massachusetts, many times back in the day.

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I love the Look Park venue. It’s a great layout and is perfect for a family trip. I flew solo yesterday, but today, Debbie and the kids joined me with bikes and gear in tow. Debbie got to ride on the Norwottuck Rail Trail.

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As usual, this event was well attended and well-organized. As far as cross goes in New England, the Verge races are the more highly produced events. Heck, not too many cross races have both a kids race complete with barriers, AND a “bounce house.” Oh, and Look Park has several playgrounds and a zoo. It’s a great park.

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Saturday races are always tough for me after a long work week. My legs were stiff on Saturday despite the unseasonably warm temperatures. It was an amazing fall day here in southern New England. Wearing a short-sleeve skinsuit the first weekend in November was a treat.

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Today was a different story as the temperature plummeted overnight. The sun did pop out for the elite races during the afternoon, but for our 11:30 A.M. Master 35+/Juniors 17-18 (they combine our fields) start, I was wearing arm warmers and embrocation on the legs. It was chilly.

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The two courses were very similar, but Day 1 had  two tough run-ups and a challenging technical section in the woods. Day 2 had no run-up and it was a much faster race with more wide open riding. I do better on the faster courses and it showed. I moved up 14 spots in a slightly smaller field today, but the important thing is I felt a whole lot better doing it.

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I’ve been having fun with the stats at www.crossresults.com. In cross, the “race within the race” is as important as being up front. Not everyone can battle for the win, but you end up racing the same guys (and gals) over the course of a season and some good battles are fought.

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I’ve been battling all season with my teammate, Horst Engineering colleague, and friend, Arthur Roti. We are evenly matched. He is better at the technical courses and I am better on the more wide open courses. Art had beaten me handily in every race this year, but this weekend, I bested him by a few spots each day. Art and I have both been battling with Keith Burgoyne from Bikereg.Com/Laughing Dog Bicycles. Yesterday, Keith outsprinted me after I tried to jump him in the last few corners. I couldn’t shake him, led out the sprint, and he came by me on the road finish like a freight train.

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Today, I was able to pull away from him with the help of a speedy junior, who outsprinted me (see the pattern here?) on the road finish. I felt much better today and will take that as a sign that my legs are coming around. I’m registered for a bunch more races in the next five weeks, so this is going to be fun.

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My new Seven Cycles Mudhoney Pro has been the dream cross bike I envisioned when we designed it. It handles like an amazing cross machine. I love it. My Mudhoney has carbon tubes bonded to titanium lugs whereas Art’s new Mudhoney SL is all titanium. These are great bikes.

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Everyone had fun today. In addition to Art and me, our team was represented by Paul Nyberg, Wade Summers, and Matt Domnarksi, all in the 45+ race. Those guys all rode strongly. The kids got loads of fresh air, did their own race, and bounced to their heart’s delight.

Race Results

Day 1
Day 2

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