Monday, October 22, 2007

Cyclocross With a Southern Accent

Nicely done, boys and girls. The first (annual?) cyclocross race in Altona came off splendidly. About 60 racers in total, more or less evenly divided over the three categories. Over half the participants were racing cx for the first time. And aside from the notable absences from several high-ranking FGBC officials--the president was there, but did not race, while the secretary and the coach were nowhere to be seen--the FGBC showed up in full force. By cx standards, the course was a bit on the tougher side, but it seemed to win the over hearts of racers and spectators alike in the end. It didn't hurt that it was a beautiful day.

The kids got things off to a dramatic start. Those of us who were close enough to see it watched in vain as the leader of the race took a wrong turn and headed off course, essentially giving away the race. Bummer. But it was all smiles in the end.

The B race not only featured a whole whack of first-timers and the largest field of the three races. It also offered up a fierce and fascinating battle for the overall victory. I don't think I've ever witnessed a cross race being won on a technical downhill before. But Johnny Friesen, rocking his full-suspension Slayer, took a little more time out of early leader Allan Robertson on each lap as he flew smoothly through the switchbacks down the backside of the hill, before eventually riding away with a 15 second victory.

I didn't really have a good vantage point from which to comment on the A race. I can, however, say that it really hurt. And also that it was one of most enjoyable races of the season so far. Daniel and Olli put the rest of us to shame, coming in several minutes ahead of anyone else.

Full results here

Among the many other highlights, the following stick in my mind: Jonny G and his snot-soaked beard. The girl with the banana-seat bike and streamers. The kid with the way-too-small bike with the near vertical seat, who rode the entire race standing on his pedals. Simon's fancy footwear. The dude with the blue jeans and cotton shirt. Charlene's pain-tinged smile as she ran up the hill. All the good looking people sporting the sweetest jersey in the world. The spectators and cowbells, not to mention the sweet (though not entirely southern) tunes, up on top of the hill. Juan Eppstein running the last few laps with a broken chain. The sand pit from hell. The inflatable arch that made everything else look like a miniature display-window replica.

Johnny S did an awful lot of work to pull this all together. All hail Johnny S. Myron and Julia also helped out in a big way, as did proud new papa, David S. Additional thanks to Mayor Mel for flipping burgers, Ian for course-design consultation, Jonny G for helping set up the course, Hal for the tunes, Tom for the arch, and Colin for not getting so entirely lost that we were without barriers altogether. And, of course, thanks to everyone who showed up to race and/or watch. Good times.

A few photos:

More photos here, courtesy of Mrs. Eppstein.

OTT: Jess Klein, Everybody's Crazy


mhandsco said...

Hands down the best race I've ever been to. Sorry I couldn't stick around - Miles was being a bear.

Annual question mark? Say it ain't so...

El Presidente said...

Very nice work on the race report! Wish I could have been there but alas, child birthing has priority.

Next event on the Southern calendar...the 3rd Annual Altona Bikeathlon. Watch for pending dates...

team jonny said...

i loved the southern hospitality... can't wait till next year!

mhandsco said...

Results are up - what happened to the Poosher?

The Dark Lord said...

His freewheel blew up.

mhandsco said...