Wow. Wow. Wow. What a race. I left my iPhone back at Horst Engineering by mistake, so I don’t have any of my own photos from the race. I capture a few images of the “aftermath.”
That’s OK, I needed both hands to hold on to the handlebars! The 2017 USA Cyclo-Cross National Championships kicked off in a big way today. I’m feeling a bit sad for the Riverside Park course. It’s already taken a beating and there are five days of racing to go.
I love cyclocross and the environment, so I’ll be there (with the crews) in the spring to fix the course up. Cross does do damage when conditions are as wet as they were today. Riverside Park isn’t pristine anyway. It is in the Connecticut River flood plain, which made the mud so, well…muddy.
The rain came down heavily and turned the course into a quagmire. I pre-rode yesterday when it was 34 degrees Fahrenheit, firm, and a bit icy. Today, it was 40 degrees and pouring. Many of the rideable sections became unrideable as the race went on.
The downhill off the dike was treacherous. I opted for caution, which may have cost me some time, but saved me in the long run. I’ll be able to go to work tomorrow! I had a really good start, lost some ground, made up a little ground, made a few mistakes, and then pretty much survived until the finish.
I was able to get three laps done, but only cover 5.8 miles in 44:36. That was good for 19th out of about a 100 riders. I would love to break the top-15 in the 45-49 Championship Race on Friday. There will be a little more top competition, but filter out the “younger” guys, and it’s possible.
Adam Myerson, who is one of our sponsored Horst Spikes athletes, rode marvelously for the win. I’m pretty sure he was using Ice & Snow Cross Spikes, just like me. Horst Spikes have been popular this week. We are letting athletes pick-up at our 36 Cedar St. plant, which is only five minutes from the park. Toe spikes were critical for maintaining any grip on the uphill sections.
The entire Team Horst Sports 40-49 year-old squad did well. I was followed by Wade Summers, Art Roti, Andris Skulte, and Randall Dutton. Our 50-59 riders were on the course when I packed up and headed for a warmer environment. I shouted loudly for Matt Domnarski, Tom Ricardi, and Dave Geissert. I had a lot of friends in the race too, and they weren’t all local. Aaron Ofsiany was in town from San Francisco. I’ll see him again later in the week.
I started on Row 2, along with my long time friend, Jon Gallagher. Jon and I spent the summer of 1994 together and we have had some great adventures over the years. This was another one to add to the list. I chased him for the first part of the race before he pulled away to finish 13th. His timing services business is handling all of the official results for the race this week.
Judging by some of the Facebook and Instagram footage, anyone who raced today deserves monster kudos.