September 21, 2011 (St. Catharines, ON) – This past Sunday marked one of the fastest courses of cowbell yet, with great weather conditions as well. The early races saw the largest field of the day with 27 M3 men on the line. Neil “ sandman” Armstrong took the holeshot and via my coaching ( hey, you have a gap) took a wire to wire win over Angus Botterill and Christopher Starham. This was the first cyclocross win of the year for Team CF in Canada.
In the cat4/beginner men a tight race unfolded with 3 riders in contention for the win. In the end Colin Busby’s strong first lap would be difference and he held onto the win by 9 seconds.
A really good sign was a field of 7 starters in the U17 categories. Local rider Tyler Lee took a convincing win on a lovely silver kona major jake (ps this bike won the elite race five years ago) Tyler attributed his success to giving up online poker tournaments and his Sudoku habit. Other strong performances came from Connor Nevin and the ever attending Stefan Milosevic. We had 2 U13 racers in the race who were duking it out on the course with Skye Follas taking the boots to Campbell Lee, who said he was tired from hammering stakes. Note: Campbell hammered like 5 stakes I know as I was supervisor.
The M2 and women’s starts were next off with new local team 905 taking a 1-2 in the M2 race. In the last lap it was Steve DeBoer gapping Jamie Shuman for the victory with regional tough guy Garnett Abbey taking 3rd. The women’s race saw Leigh Hobson JUVEDERM – SPECIALIZED, racing another clean race to take the win over Julie Marceau and Kaitlin Dundas (who is a junior and rode very well on the day.)
The master women had HBCC’s Michelle Cordy take the win over Team CF’s Ally Armstrong and Leslie Green. The only junior male, Morgan Macphee won. (If you did not guess already).
The Team CF kids race was as always the best race off the day. All the starters had UCI illegal bike’s over 33 cc tires and I am pretty sure that some of the saddle noses were past the bb. I tried to DQ the lot of them but I was not ready for the crying so I let all the illegal stuff pass. There were only a few small wipeouts but no crashes this year. Casey Chown was quoted post awards, “ No, I want the really big bell not this small one it won’t make enough noise.” Hence the organizer discouraged the big bell prize.
The elite and M1 men were the last start. The M1 race was won by a super strong Andrew Crouch with Edgar Aspe and Paul Reins finishing the podium.
In the elite field, some of the top mountain bikers have figured out cross is really fun, and are super-fit which is going to make for some good racing this season. The trek Canada duo of Adam Morka and Pete Glassford rode a solid tactical race. Adam took the holeshot and instantly opened up a gap for a lap and a bit but hit one of the sweeper corners a bit fast and went down then blew his tubular up. Peter G who was just policing the chase pack then hit out with a strong few laps and it was only Marco Li and Peter Mogg who could follow. The new chasers were now Peter Mancini and myself. I finally got up to the group only to get dropped the next lap along with Marco. The next lap the 2 petes had 10 seconds with 3 to go, and I knew it was now or never and gave it full gas on the super long power section ( who put that in there anyway). I was about to make contact when Pete G glanced back and put the hammer down leaving me only to rejoin Mogg with 2 to go. I tried to regroup but Pete laid down 2 fast laps and held on for a well deserved win. Mogg came in third with myself in second.
Of note: looks like if your name is Pete than you should be good at cross as 4 of the top 6 in the elite race were all “pete’s”
It was a great day for 103 starters and 15 or so kids racers. Hope to all next year.