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Queen’s CX Race Report, Results, Photos – Van Den Ham and Dyck Win Mud FEST

by Ryan Cousineau

November 16, 2017 (New Westminster, BC) – One day after the solemn observance of Remembrance Day, cyclists descended upon the lovely Queen’s Park in New Westminster, BC, for the latest skirmish in the Vancouver Cyclocross Coalition’s 2017 campaign: Queen’s CX. The theme was mud. Mucilaginous, peanut-butter mud that threatened to reduce every drivetrain to one gear or less. Pits of mud. Fields of mud. Mud in corners. Mud in ditch-dips, hiding unplumbed depths. So, pretty great course!

 ©  Matt Lazzarotto
Despite a moderate amount of elevation change, the parcours favored technicians, and there was time to be had on the many challenging corners. The surface ranged from muddy grass to muddy dirt, with a small amount of less-muddy pavement, and about three metres of bark mulch (which was wet, but not really muddy). Fortunately, on-site coffee courtesy the Kafka’s truck and on-site beer courtesy the Four Winds beer garden greatly fortified the mood of all participants.

 ©  Matt Lazzarotto
The Elite Men’s race saw Michael Van Den Ham complete the prestigious Nats-Queen’s double, showing off his fancy new national champion jersey in the process. However, his Garneau teammate Craig Richey kept him honest all race long, and the final gap was a mere three seconds. Nicholas Kupiak, making the trip over from Vancouver Island, put in a solid third place ride, and will surely return home with exciting tales about “the Internet” and “compact fluorescent lighting.”

A special note goes to the youth movement in the race: teenager Cody Scott didn’t so much bunny-hop the barriers as flow over them. His performance (including the non-barrier portions of the course) was good enough for eighth. Elliot Jamieson, Jacob Rubuliak, and Evan McBeath also put up credible performances among those barred from the beer garden.

 ©  Matt Lazzarotto
The Elite Women’s race was livened up by the appearance of Mical Dyck (Naked Factory Racing), who convincingly rode away from Natasha Cowie in second. The battle for third was covered by a mere four seconds, But Kelly Jones proved the value of age and guile as she held off the young and skillful Maggie Coles-Lyster.

Regrettably, there was also a Singlespeed race, and not satisfied with taking New Westminster’s status as provincial capital, Victoria’s Terry McKall rubbed mud in the wound by nabbing the win. Gastown Cycling’s Kevin Smith was a semi-credible threat, good enough for second, and Sam Whittingham, once famous as The Fastest Man on Earth for his human-powered vehicle records, was the third-fastest man on one gear.

 ©  Matt Lazzarotto
In the lesser categories, Girls’ U13 winner Geza Rodgers (Devo) rode at the Intermediate Women’s podium pace, nicely done (this was also true of the Novice Women’s winner, naughty naughty). There were an impressive 76 starters in the Novice Men’s field, but nobody cares who won. Stuart Bagnall finished 13th in the Intermediate Men’s race, a fact which is provided to you for no reason at all.

We are also once again concerned that overzealous spectators may have been offering unsanctioned solid and liquid refreshment to riders, and some riders may have partaken. However, thanks to careful investigation, this reporter can assure you that no performance advantage could be gained from these feeds. Once again, we urge a crackdown on this deplorable practice, and hope that cyclocross will return to a culture of propriety and gustatory forebearance.

Complete results are available here.


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