Race report by Shawn Lortie
Golden, Colo. –With the second day of record temperatures on tap for Sunday’s GMSV Lookout Cross, racers faced a classic Colorado CX course with dry and dusty conditions, good-sized fields, and the possibility of a shower along the way. No, not rain showers, but a spray down in the form of volunteers with a pressure washer to keep things cool.
The GMSV CX returned to its regular venue at the Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center, where plenty of open space gives the course setters room to create a killer course.
Lisa Strong, racing in the Women’s Pro 1,2 class had this to say; “This course had it all. It’s got tight, technical, sandy corners; long, straight, grinder uphills; two cool run ups; and fun barrier sections. For sure it’s one of my favorite courses we’ll race on this year.”
Starting on an open field of grass, the racers dove into a big turn around a soccer goal, then into a loose drop leading into a sharp right hand turn leading down through the fields to the bottom of the course. From there it was a bit of climbing back up to the start/finish area, across the grass again, and back out into the fields for more pain and suffering.
On the back side of the course there was a steep and loose drop that immediately took the riders back up to the left to a short climb that some rode and some ran. Then it was back to the grass field and a set of double barriers that drew quite a few spectators. Somewhere around the middle of the lap was a huge up and over hump that had many riders grabbing a bit of air. Then it was right into a run up on a section of stairs, back to the bottom of the course, and repeat.
In the Men’s Pro 1,2 race it was Braden Kappius (Clif Bar) back to redeem himself after flatting the day before in Colorado Springs. Although Chuck Coyle (Groove Subaru Cycling Team) took the hole shot into the first corner, it was Kappius and Yannick Eckmann (Hot Tubes Dev. Cycling Team) that eventually pulled away by the end of the first lap. Eckmann lead most of the race, with Kappius right on his wheel.
Behind the two leaders, Tim Allen (unattached), Christian McCarthy (Natural Grocers p/b XP Companies), and Chris Phenicie (Green Mountain Sports Racing), battled it out for the third spot on the podium. Allen eventually got away from Phenecie and McCarthy to take third for the day. Up at the front, Kappius had escaped Eckmann to take the win.
In the Women’s Pro 1,2 race Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry) took the lead from the gun, but Lisa Strong (Hudz/Subaru Cycling Team) was not giving up that easily. As the two ladies quickly worked their way through the back end of the Men’s 45+ field, Strong stayed with Miller, marking her accelerations around the course.
Miller was able to get away from Strong a few laps into the race, but Strong never gave up the chase. “I had a great race, anytime I’m second to Meredith Miller I know I’m on the right track.” Karen Hogan (Louisville Cyclery) finished third, with Melanie Long (Tough Girls) in fourth and Nicole Duke (Hudz/Subaru Cycling Team) fifth for the day.