Utah Cyclocross Season Kicks Off
Utah isn't well known as a stronghold for cyclocross racing but the scene in SLC is strong and has been for a lot of years now.
Founded in the mid 90's the UTCX Series has grown steadily since its inception and draws in riders from neighboring states every weekend. Last years Halloween race drew more than 400 riders from the costumed fun hogs to the serious racer.
Mention cyclocross racing and most people produce a mental picture of mud caked riders battling in conditions that Navy SEALS would think twice about going out in. Looking at the thermometer at the Andy Ballard Equestrian Center you would never guess it was October and round 1 of the UTCX Series. With temps in the 90's and a super hilly technical course mud and hypothermia would be replaced with dust and heat stroke. Also a factor, goatheads. If you race in Utah you had better run lots of sealent in you tires.
|John Newell, supporting the cause||The podium||The Pain Train|
The Women's B field is turning into one of the biggest and most intense races of the day. Former pro triathlete Robyn Masters (Contender Bicycles) used her experience in the heat to take the win over over Shannon O'Grady (COTBR/RealCyclist.com). In the Masters 35+ A's Sam Moore (Canyon Bicycles) hit it hard from the gun and went horizon of the shattered field leaving the rest to fight for scraps. In the end Scott Allen clinched the Canyon Bicycles sweep with a strong move to dump the rest of the chasers.
For a lot of years now the Pro Mens race has been called The Bart Show. Bart Gillespie (Revolution Bicycles) has been the man to beat. Last Season Ali Goulet (COTBR/RealCyclist.com) came out on top more than a few times leading some to think that maybe The Bart Show had jumped the shark. Well it took less than half a lap to dispel that line of thinking. By the top of the first run up (less than 3 minutes in) Bart had over 30 seconds on MTB Pro Alex Grant (Cannondale Factory Team). That is the order it would stay until the finish. Goulet fell victim to the many goat heads on the course and was not a factor at the end. Looks like The Bart Show might go into syndication.