Tuesday, October 26, 2010

USGP Derby City (dust bowl) Cup

The USGP Derby City Cup has come and gone and I would say was a great success. It was the debut of the new Eva Bandman park and I have to say, it is a very nice course. Very euro, wide open course with some very challenging features. Props to everyone involved to make that happen.

Like two weeks ago at UCI3, the unseasonably un-cyclocross weather continued with highs in the 80's and dry dusty conditions. At the start of every race, a huge cloud of dirt emerged as riders went from the paved road to the grass. I cleaned my ears this morning and it was absolutely filthy from the two days of running around in the dusty conditions.

One thing could basically sum up the races, BIG FIELDS! Every field was huge. As a consequence to the large fields, riders were being pulled. Especially in the Pro race where less than half finished the race.

As in any race, it always seems a group of 5 or so just ride away from the fields. Happened in the 4's race, happened in the 2/3 race, and the masters races. If you started in the back, there was no real hope to get any good placing.

The 2/3 race was dominated by a 15 year old Jordan Cullen. Yup 15 years old, yup two wins. Looks like he earned a Cat 1 upgrade this weekend. Rounding out the podium on both days were Mark Parmelee and Andrew Coe. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Jordan can't race the UCI Elite race just yet since he is a junior (correct me if I'm wrong though.) I would say he is a prime candidate to attend the Euro Cross Camp later this year.

The Elite women's race was pretty much a repeat of UCI3, except with Georgia Gould in place of Katie Compton. From lap one on both days, Georgia got the holeshot and never looked back. The fight for the podium proved to be much better entertainment as valuable C1 points were up for grabs on Saturday. Natasha Elliot rode into 2nd place while the battle for 3rd was hot with Van Gilder, Antonneau and Miller in the mix. Meredith Miller had an impressive ride. She got caught up in a sandpit crash and found her self in the back half of the race. She gave it her all and finally got into the 3rd place podium group in the final few laps and settled in for 5th place. I thought for sure she would get the SRAM most aggressive rider award but she didn't.

Sunday was a pretty similar race with Georgia going off the front and Natasha Elliot chasing. However Natasha burned too many matches trying to solo bridge to Georgia and got spit out of the chase group once she came back to it. She later recovered, got back to the group and settled for 4th. Meredith Miller and Laura Van Gilder rode together for most of the race until the last few laps when Miller dropped Van Gilder. A wise move since everyone knows Van Gilder is very hard to beat once on the pavement.

So when are we going to see America's best battle it out at one race? Well I don't think we will until Cross Vegas next year. I would love to see Katie Compton, Katerina Nash, Georgia Gould, Sue Butler, Amy Dombroski, Meredith Miller all battle it out.

For the men, it was a three man show. Tim Johnson, Ryan Trebon, and Jeremy Powers. That was your podium for Saturday and Tim and Jeremy swapped places on Sunday. The blistering pace those three men set only allowed 16 people out of 73 to finish on the lead lap on Saturday and 20 out of 70 on Sunday. It was amazing what the Pro men did because everything was bigger and faster. Some of the riders, such as Barry Wicks, were riding an almost unridable hill "The Louisville Slugger." You went down this super steep rutted downhill, did a quick 180, and went up a similarly steep and rutted uphill where 99% of the people ran up. It was a bit easier on Sunday since there was a longer run-in to the hill but those riding it on Saturday was insane.

I would also like to wish speedy recovery to our local OVCX fast man Mitchell Kersting. He went down in the first corner in Saturday's race and hurt his knee forcing him to abandon and sit out on Sunday. Its really unfortunate that these things happen but it is part of bike racing. Watch out for him next year though, he'll be hungrier than ever.

With four races left to go, Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers sit on top of the leaderboard with 174 points each. Todd Wells sits in third with 107 points, Tristan Schouten fourth with 98 and Trebon fifth with 94. But anything can happen. One bad day and the rest of the guys can sneak up into the lead. It'll be exciting to see what happens at Fort Collins and the finale at Portland.

Since there was some more cross racing going on around the world, Stybar wins the World Cup, Van Paasen wins the Womens, with Nash coming in third, and Adam Myerson wins his first UCI Cross race!

Oh on a side note, looks like I got the ok from the wife to plan our trip over to WORLD CUP #3!!! Time to use those vacation days, get out of the country, eat some frites, and watch some cyclocross!

1 comment:

  1. Devou Cyclocross Course Work Session This Saturday, Octover 30th. 8am - 12pm or so.

    Tools Proveded.
    Gloves, Eye Protection and Long Pants Recommended.