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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Not a bad way to cap the weekend. @patriots #nepatriots #patsgame #patriots 🏈 Two days of #crawfordnotch views sandwiched with @appalachianmountainclub meeting. Cycling on Rt. 302, #trailrunning on the Crawford Path, and Mount Willard. #newhampshire 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ Sites and sounds from Day 2 @gpgloucester #gpgloucester The fog was burning off by the end of the Cub Juniors 9-14 year old race.

#horstspikes #cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross #horstengineering #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #madeinconnecticut #madeinnewengland #madeinusa 🇺🇸 It was great to see so many friends at today’s Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race. We all ran the 2-Miler. We couldn’t stay long after the finish, but we did see Kelsey Allen win overall in the 10.5 Mile main event. Hooray! #trailrunning 🏃🏻 Before and after the Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club’s Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race in the #Berkshires I rode (very wet) over from Savoy Mountain State Forest where we camped last night. On the ride along the #DeerfieldRiver I checked out #ZoarGap and then we walked down to the river to see the Tooth. Sadly, the kayakers had already passed through. The foliage turned overnight. #trailrunning #cycling 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ #Cyclocross racing in the morning and downhill #mountainbiking @thundermountainbikepark in the afternoon. We got in two late afternoon runs on rental bikes and are pumped to return for more fun in the future. #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #thundermountainbikepark #berkshireeast 🚵‍♀️⛰ 30 kids in the 9-12 year old Race at the #mansfieldhollow #Cyclocross That’s just awesome! @the_ccap #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #crossspikes #crossisboss This image was from pregame, but approaching halftime @uconnfootball there aren’t many more fans than you see here. 35 (Memphis ) to 21 (UCONN) is a lot of points in 30 minutes of #football #uconn This morning I got to hear Warren Rustand, inspirational entrepreneur and fellow @ypoglobal member, speak at a #ypo Connecticut River Valley Chapter meeting. It was fitting that the event was @riverfrontrecapture and literally ON the #connecticutriver I walked from @horsteng via my favorite train bridge. The 10 minute trip back to the plant was ample time to reflect on the #leadership lessons that he shared with our group. @garyrome and I decided that we should memorialize our time with this dedicated athlete, by requesting that he join our photo. #horstengineering #business

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