2019 Belltown Cross

We returned to the Belltown Cross today, though it was at a new venue in East Haddam, Connecticut. I thought that the fairgrounds on Quarry Road were much better than the RV park course of the past.

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Team HORST Sports had a huge turnout. We were represented in so many categories:

  • Junior Boys 9-12
  • Junior Girls 13-14
  • Junior Boys 13-14
  • Junior Boys 15-18
  • Masters Men 40+
  • Masters Men 50+
  • Masters Men 60+
  • Category Men 3/4
  • Singlespeed

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I think the Fat Bike race may have been the only one we were missing from! That’s OK because between the crazy (and in costume) Laurel Bicycle Club and hosts Stage 1 Cycling Club, they had it covered.

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We spent the better part of this fall day at the race and it was really nice. Cyclocross is a very family friendly sport and a fairgrounds (even without the fair) is a good venue even for those just spectating. It was cold early in the morning, and then some bright sun warmed things up, but by noon, it had clouded up and cooled off again. Just as we were packing up around 4:30 P.M., it started to rain. Thankfully we got all the racing in before we got wet.

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The Stage 1 Cycling Club/Airline Cycles crew did a fantastic job. They know how to put on a good event. The prizes were excellent, with many coming from donors. The DJ played excellent music. The podium was unique. The race had a fun vibe that people enjoy.

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Plus, the course was well-laid out and challenging. It was mostly flat and fast, but there were some cool turns and a neat section through dirt/sand pit area. There were several fun whoops and then a double run-up/ride-up depending on your power and skill. The race was mostly on grass with the exception of the dirt area and the long tarmac finishing stretch. There was even a “Disco Barn” complete with a disco ball and smoke. You had to ride right through it before taking the 90 degree left on to the finishing straight. The Team HORST Junior Squad had some nice results in the morning events with several top 10 finishes. Then the Masters team members crushed it, grabbing a few podium spots.

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Shepard had to persevere again after a mechanical and bike change for the second week in a row. He had rough start, getting tangled in the course tape in the narrow first turn. then, his chain slipped off the front ring and got jammed between the ring and the chain guard. He ran to the pit an got on his mountain bike. He steadily worked his way back and finished 10th. He was unhappy, but yet pleased with his grit and the lessons learned. We will dial in his bike one of these weeks!

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Dave Geissert was one our Masters stars, winning the 60+ race. Wade Summers cam close in the 50+ race, getting narrowly beat by Steve Sadler from the Stage 1 team. Rich Frisbie just missed the 40+ podium, finishing 4th.

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I did the singlespeed race even though the event was NOT part of the Zank SSCX Series. We started with the Men Cat 1/2/3 race, so it was a bit longer than the recent races. I didn’t mind that, though with their two minute head start, the leader, Greg Gunsalus, caught me halfway through the last lap which meant my race got cut short by one lap. I still got in a good workout. I am taking next weekend off from racing as I have an Appalachian Mountain Club Board of Directors meeting to attend. I’ll be back at it at Cheshire CX, which is in the Zank series.

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With 329 riders, the race was well attended for a grassroots event. My hope is that in 2020 we return to the fairgrounds.

Race Results

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