2015 Silk City Cyclocross & Riverfront Crossfest

This weekend, the 2015 CT Series of Cyclocross kicked off with two great races that were close to home. On Saturday, I raced the Silk City Cyclocross in Manchester. The new course was fantastic. Team Horst Engineering had a great turnout and also got some nice podium results in the masters races. Matt Domnarki won the 50+ race. Pat Cunningham was third, and Paul Nyberg was sixth. We have a strong trio of 50+ riders.

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In the 40+ race, Mike Wonderly was third, Wade Summers was fourth, I was sixth, Art Roti was 8th, and Ted D’Onofrio was fifteenth. Chris Peck was in a class by himself, winning the first series race. Th eight race series is going to be a real battle. The course was redesigned and a lot of fun. It was one of the longer courses I’ve done. Each lap took about 12 minutes. There was a nice mix of wide open riding and technical sections. The run up was wicked steep, which I loved. It was the perfect run up to test Horst Spikes. Conditions were generally dry, so I chose to use medium spikes again. There was a little rain on Friday night and that kept the dust down.

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I had a fun race, battling with Ricky Legault for almost the entire time. Ricky and I go way back. We battled against each other in the early 1990’s, though mostly on the road in those days. I raced for Ski Market and he raced for New Bedford Builders. Neither team exists today, but he and I are still going strong. On the last lap, we bridged up to Max Candidus. He sat on while Ricky and I traded pulls in the last half mile. Coming into the final few corners before the steep (but rideable) uphill finish, Max jumped. I was sitting third wheel and left too much room. I came around Ricky, but couldn’t close the gap to Max. I was disappointed to not score fifth, but alas, it was a good lesson learned in a tactical finish.

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Race Director Jonathan Tarbox and his club mates in the EXPO Wheelmen did a fine job putting on Silk City. Debbie and the kids came down after soccer practice. Both of our children did the kids race, which was fun to watch. Afterwards, I took our son for a lap of the long course. Maybe he will compete in the 9-10 year old Juniors field next year.

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Today was the Riverfront Crossfest. I love racing at Riverside Park in Hartford. Horst Engineering was involved with the first race at that venue back in 2003. The urban location, riverside venue, and great trails make for an awesome course. This is the tentative site for the 2017 USA National Cyclocross Championships. The biggest issue for an event of that size will be the parking. The course itself is championship caliber with lots of varied terrain including grassy field riding, sand pits, single track, doubletrack, and the infamous dike. That dike had some fun but steep uphill and downhill sections with lots of tricky corners. It was a leg buster for sure.

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The 40+ field was a bit more competitive today. I was tenth, right behind Mike in ninth. We rode together for most of the race. Unfortunately, Wade flatted with one lap to go when he was riding in eighth. He ended up getting his pit bike and chasing. He caught up to us and finished in the same time as me. On the last lap, Mike and I were in a group of four riders and we had some fun with the team tactics. First, I attacked on the riverside trails as we approached the dike. Mike left a gap, but the other riders chased and closed in on me as I was climbing the dike. Then, Mike jumped, and I returned the favor. He gained an advantage over our small group on the top of the dike before the tricky traverse and descent.

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A rider came through and I sat on his wheel as Mike pulled away. Then, over the final set of barriers, I was able to jump away without dragging the rider with me. I closed in on Mike. Little did I know that Wade was right on me. He nearly got me on the line. So, we finished ninth, tenth, and eleventh. Art was a few spots behind us and Ted was a little ways behind him. Today’s course was a bit more damp than yesterday’s. Chris Peck took the 40+ win for the second day in a row. Overnight and morning rain added moisture. It wasn’t muddy, but there were rutted sections and that gave our tires a bit more bite. It didn’t rain during the race, but it was humid. I liked the terrain and the warmer weather is nice, but I am looking forward to some proper cyclocross weather when fall arrives.

In the 50+ race, Pat scored second place after Matt flatted, and ended up sixth. With Matt’s puncture, the door was open for Jay Trojan to take the win. Paul sat this one out, but it was a dominant weekend for the 50+ gang. The next two CT Series races are Mansfield Hollow and Veterans Memorial CX on October 10th and 11th. We had more soccer today, so Debbie and the kids did not make it downtown for the kids race. I had to high-tail it out of there after checking in with the team. We got a chance to say hello to two special rides who we support. Cassie Maximenko is an elite rider using our Horst Spikes. She is headed for Cross Vegas on Wednesday night and we wish her well. Our 11-12 year old USA National Champion, Lizzy Gunsalus, rode strongly today in her stars and stripes jersey. It was fun to catch up with her dad, Mark, and her brother, Greg.

Thank you to Race Director Ron Manizza, Dave Arnold, and their volunteers for putting on another great race today.

Silk City Race Results

Riverfront Crossfest Race Results

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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