Race report by Shawn Lortie
BROOMFIELD,CO.-The second race in the Boulder CX Series was held on Saturday at the Inerlocken campus in Broomfield. This is always a very popular venue, as the chance to race almost entirely on grass doesn’t come around too often in the Rocky Mountains. This year was no different, as both racers and spectators flocked to the fields of green. Most categories were quite large, with the Men’s 35+ 3’s full to its maximum with 125 riders. With cool fall weather and a bit of mud and wet grass, it’s finally beginning to feel like CX season.
The grass is obviously a big draw, but the course that Brian and the crew at Boulder Racing put together is always top notch too. From the drag race start across a large grass field, racers were pinched into a tight left, which led directly into the double run up, double sand pit area. From there it was down a narrow paved path, around a slick left bend and back onto the grass for a long straight section along the back side of the course.
At the end of the straight was a footbridge into a right-hander where racers zigzagged up more grass to the highpoint of the course, where an off camber section brought them back down towards the front side. Another footbridge, a few fast flowing turns, a double barricade, and a couple flat out sprints into 180-degree turns finally brought the racers to the finish line. With 90% of the course being damp, tire-sucking grass, it was tough all the way around.
In the Men’s Open race the field of 62 made the sprint for the pinch, and poured over the barriers and sand pits. By the end of the first lap it was Pete Webber, Brandon Dwight, and Allen Krughoff (Boulder Cycle Sport), Matt Pacocha (Hudz/Subaru), and a young Yannick Eckman (Hot Tubes), off the front of the pack. The five leaders each tried to attack throughout the race but no one was able to bust a move and get away.
At the end it was Eckman, jumping the barriers on the last lap while Dwight ran them, taking the win. Dwight and Krughoff finished second and third, followed by Pacocha and Webber in that order. “Matt and I got caught up in lapped traffic,” said Krughoff, “Then I attacked Matt and tried to get across to Yannick and Brandon but the gap was just too big.”
The battle at the front was fierce, but that’s not to say that wars weren’t being waged deep within the pack, as everyone in the Men’s Open race, including Georgia Gould, put on a great display of cyclocross for the throngs of spectators.
In the Women’s Open, Lisa Strong (Hudz/Subaru) took the win after two second place finishes in Frisco last weekend. “I knew Ann Trombley, Former Olympian, would be my strongest out there but I had to keep my eyes out for several girls behind me. In the end it was Sara Tarkington who picked people off and chased me down. I'm sure she would have caught me with one more lap of racing but I wanted that WIN so badly I dug deep to stay ahead of her through the finish.” Tarkington (unnatached) finished second with Trombley (Tokyo Joe’s) rounding up the podium spots.
Thanks to the folks at Boulder Racing for another great event with the ever-popular kids race, great announcing, and a killer course, and free adult beverages from Oskar Blues.