Report by Eddie Clark
(Nov 7, 2010) CASTLE ROCK, Colo.—A good day of ‘cross racing was had by all who showed up for the Castle Cross Cyclocross festival at the newly built Castle Rock Rhyolite Bike Park. Uniquely, this community park features a 4-cross course which is heavily used by local mountain bike racers for practice, and also plenty of singletrack and even a pump track which was part of the CX race course.
Like all of the Front Range CX races this year, another dry dusty and sunny day had racers in short sleeves putting on the sunscreen. “This is mountain biking weather”, commented Men’s Open winner Brady Kappius about the untypically warm November day. Luckily, Castle Rock Brewery was onsite with four varieties of tasty cold malt beverages free for the thirsty racers and fans.
Although, unlike many other races on the Colorado Front Range, this race sent riders down plenty of flowy singletrack through very hilly terrain with many cacti and scrub brush to keep clear of.
After taking the Men’s 45+ victory, Karl Kiester of Great Divide Brewing said, “Ahh it (the course) was good, a little loose in some of the corners. There was a lot of singletrack, and you couldn’t pass in certain spots, but it would open up and you could get around.”
Women’s Open winner Lisa Strong of Hudz/Subaru also had good praise of the fun singletrack heavy course. “It was swushy, bermy, smooth, and really fun. It looked longer, but didn’t seem as long at race pace”, said Strong.
Second place Women’s Open finisher Lisa Hudson of Feedback Sports had a fine sprint for the finish, but instead of sprinting against Strong who had a 10 second gap, she stepped it up to outsprint one of the Men’s 45+ racers that ultimately failed to pass her.
With the two biggest weekends of cyclocross racing just before and after this weekend, it was no surprise that racer attendance numbers were lower. However, there was still plenty of horsepower in the Men’s Open race to provide plenty of entertainment.
Clif Bar racer Brady Kappius got off the front on the first lap, only to be passed by Mike Hoke on the second lap. Throughout the first 30 minutes, the trio of Kappius, Hoke, and Chris Hurst of CU Boulder traded positions numerous times until Hoke was slightly gapped and Hurst was leading Kappius with an eye for victory. With three to go, Hurst dropped his chain allowing Kappius to escape for the win, and Hoke to pass him for second. It was the second victory for the weekend for Kappius.
“It was a pretty sweet venue, with lots of elevation change, but the climbs were gradual so it wasn’t that bad” said Kappius about his race. Notably, Kappius also raced in the singlespeed race and handily had the lead approaching the finish, but was beaten by his own father Russell Kappius who used a little old age and treachery to outsprint him to the line.
More results at the ACA.
More photos here.