(November 20, 2011) CASTLE ROCK, Colo.—The seventh race of the twelve race Colorado Cross Cup Series provided a real pre-Thanksgiving feast of a course for the cross racers who pinned on a number. Held again at the Rhyolite Bike Park, the pleasantly cool sunny weather combined with a solid course to make for a great day of racing.
By many accounts, the Castle Rock course provides all the ingredients for a challenging race with its long climbs, off camber turns, barriers, run-ups, and even a natural mud pit. There wasn't one flat bit to recover or rest on for the entire 2+ mile lap.
"It felt as long as it looked. It was up and down, but it didn't catch up with me as much as I thought it would" said Women's Elite winner Amanda Carey (Kenda / Felt).
Earlier in the day, the 35+ race was won by Michael Robson (Moots). Impressive as his surge was, Tim Faia (Boulder Cycle Sport) came up 4 second short of catching Robson, but did succeed gaining points with his second place.
A competitive Elite Women's field was next to line up, and it would be the long distance mountain bike racer Amanda Carey who established herself at the front. Once Carey got her gap over the chasers by the end of the first lap, it became a race for second. Rebecca Gross (Tough Girls) passed Catherine Johnson (The Service Course) to seal up second place by the second lap, and Johnson held on closely to finish in third.
In the Elite Men's race, Russell Stevenson (unattached) went straight to the front on the long uphill bit of pavement to gain first access to the course which took an abrupt turn downhill featuring a loose off camber turn at the bottom. Close behind Allen Krughoff (Boulder Cycle Sport) trailed in second with 2010 Junior National Champion Cross Country mountain biker Skyler Trujillo in third followed by a slew of very fast elite racers.
As Stevenson lead the race up the second run-up, the men in the black, white and orange kits of Boulder Cycle Sport were right on his wheel with Krughoff, Brandon Dwight and Peter Weber looking to pounce. Krughoff was the first Boulder Cycle Sport rider to attack and develop a small gap.
"When Allen went I stayed on Russell's wheel but he started going slower, and then Chris Case (Feedback Sports) came around so I jumped on his wheel" recalled Dwight. Stevenson dropped out on the next lap with a strained leg muscle, while Dwight managed to shake Case and rejoin Krughoff.
Behind the action, Weber slipped back to fifth behind Spencer Pawlison (Plains to Peaks Racing) who took fourth. The duo of Krughoff and Dwight stayed away for the rest of the 60 minute race, and Dwight rolled across the line in first with Krughoff in second and Case another thirty seconds back in third.