Today, I returned to race the Mansfield Hollow Cyclocross. This is one of my favorite courses. An 8:30 A.M. start on Saturday morning is kind of rough, but I dealt with it. I don’t mind early starts, but I always struggle with Saturday races after tough work weeks. This week was challenging because after returning from Japan last Saturday, I spent Wednesday in Boston and Thursday in Cincinnati and Chicago, after missing my connecting flight back to Hartford. I didn’t get back until mid-day on Friday and the work week wasn’t over yet with an afternoon full of meetings.
Anyway, sometimes, the lead in to races isn’t ideal. With so many fun events going on this weekend, including the Hartford Marathon, Grindstone 100, Ironman Louisville, and Ironman World Championships; I wanted to race too. I absolutely love competing at this time year, and October is my favorite month. This is the fifth anniversary of when I raced the Ironman in Hawaii, and Debbie raced Grindstone in 2011, but we were happy to be close to home today This was race number three in the CT Series of Cyclocross and we had a strong turnout from the Horst Engineering Cycling Team. Pat Cunningham continued his stellar 2015 campaign by winning the men’s 50+ race. Paul Nyberg wasn’t far behind him in fourth.
In the 40+ race, Mike Wonderly was just in front of me in 10th spot. Art Roti wasn’t far behind me. Unfortunately, our teammate, Wade Summers, fell hard after catching his bike on a course stake, and fractured his clavicle. I feel his pain after missing the entire 2014 cyclocross season with a fractured scapula. Wade will be back. I don’t think it is a bad break. He was coming in to good form, and I don’t think his season is over.
Randall Dutton and Andris Skulte represented us in the 3/4 race. Everyone enjoyed the fantastic fall weather. With the foliage nearing peak, the reservoir views were gorgeous. Ron Manizza and his crew of volunteers lucked out with the fine conditions. I’ve done this race in the snow before! It is one of the longtime New England classics, going back to the mid-1980’s when cross was a much smaller sport.
Debbie and the kids came up to watch and enjoy the wonderful weather at beautiful Mansfield Hollow State Park. I had a lot of fun. I could race cross every day. Of course, my body couldn’t take that, but my brain wants to do it all of the time, even when I’m tired. I had a nice race long battle with my longtime nemesis (and friend), Ricky Legault. He, Mike, and I swapped spots several times. Ricky is a supreme bike handler. I had more horsepower in the open fields, but he was quicker through the corners, over the telephone pole, and in the sand. I did OK on the barriers today.
I absolute love riding my Seven Cycles Mudhoney Pro. It’s hard to have a favorite bike because that’s like saying you have a favorite child, but it is one of my favorites. I don’t think I would choose it over my Axiom SL supercomputer, but at least I can say it is my favorite cross bike. It’s nice that proceeds from the race go to the Friends of Mansfield Hollow. It really is a lovely park.
Race Results (will be posted when available)