USGP - Bend
Click on the image above to view more from Sunday's races
Our friend in Bend, Rob Kerr, caught the last couple of races yesterday in Bend:
The professionals were here. Katerina Nash launched out in front to win the second-day and the overall series in dry and fast conditions. Jeremy Powers did the same. The cyclocross sweepers. Be faster and stronger, stay out of trouble and enlarge your lead. Lessons from the top. All in such calm suffering. We wish them well as they must now travel back east for another month of racing. For the Pacific Northwest, we will cheer and follow, lap up the rest of the calendar, consider a cold fun ride with friends on a nice trail, and glance at the trainer and wonder...
-- Rob K.
Kruger's Crossing 2011
click on the image above to see more from Sunday's race!
The sun was out but the mud was deep at Kruger's on Sunday. Plenty of snapped derailleurs were followed by a few packs of racing hounds. All was overseen by a pink unicorn. Pretty standard stuff for an Oregon cyclocross race. The end of the season may be in sight but you sure wouldn't know it.
SICX! Hey, they do 'cross on Staten Island?
Click on the photo above to see a SICX gallery
How did a Minnesota hockey boy, now living in Portland, end up running with a bike on one shoulder, through deep sand along the Atlantic Ocean on Staten Island beach? Honestly, this bike racing thing is getting weirder all the time. But there was our very own Erik Tonkin on Staten Island, a Portland presence in a world of East Coasters.
Mostly, the race felt familiar. Even the name, SICX (Staten Island CycloCross) has that bit of attitude that we're used to in this sport. And a cart near the finish sold Belgian waffles with a topping "that will change your stupid life, man." But we saw some differences from the Portland scene. The race was smaller than we're used to. With fields limited to 100, only the never-raced-cross before older-men field reached that limit. And there was the sweet ocean, something you don't see in your Cross Crusade series (hey, Brad, how about a Coastal Assault Crusade next year? Newport? Tillamook? Waikiki?)
Tonkin's presence on this sandy beach on the other side of the continent from his home got some attention from the locals. What most folks didn't know that this was his first race since he fought with a tree in the forest late this summer. Tonkin lost that fight and it cost him the 'cross season while he waited for cracked ribs and a broken shoulder to heal. But during the Staten Island race, he found a spot on the podium with relative ease. He probably got a tan on the beach, too.
P.I.R. Pro Paddock 2011
Click on the image above to see more from Sunday's race
It was like a good old fashioned cyclocross race out there on Sunday. The rain softened the earth and made life a little bit more challenging. The powerful beats of the drum brigade added a festive layer to this final race of the Cross Crusade series.
There are still a few opportunities to race those bikes...Kruger's, GPMC and the U.S.Gran Prix in Bend. We just might see you out there...
Thanks to Taylor Schefstrom for the majority of the images in today's post.
Barton Park 2011
Click on the image above to see more shots from Sunday's race at Barton Park
I think we were all expecting a little more moisture this week. A little more cyclocross weather. But the rains stopped some time Saturday and the course began to dry, relieving Sunday's racers from the annual slog through goopy peanut butter, puddles of unusual size and sketchy, slick decents.
Thanks again to Taylor for her additional images this week.
Hope to see you out there again next week for the final Cross Crusade race at PIR.
-- Tim LaBarge