Written by Paul Wojciak Thursday, 08 October 2015 18:54
First cyclocross races of the 2015 season for me and it seems that everyone's filled with enthusiasm and energy. Held on Labor Day weekend this year, the Ellison Park course is known for more climbing than most cyclocross venues. This year's loop did not disappoint. A series of grassy switchbacks had us climbing up, up, up, and then another series of switchbacks invited racers to speed pell-mell back down the hill. In between the grunting climb and exciting descent, you're treated to a variety of skills testing features. The Saturday clockwise course seemed to ride a bit harder than Sunday's counterclockwise direction. Spectators are enthusiastic and the aromas of the food area were wafting. If anything's going to be wafting during my race, at least make sure it's edible!
To make things really interesting, this year we were all treated to 90 degree weather and blazing sun during the weekend. Bone dry course conditions and parched throats. All of us amateurs were glad to be asked to only give 40 minutes. As is often the case, the podium was largely decided after the first 20 minutes anyway. My Masters 45+ field had about 30 riders each day. As a day of registrant, I got to see them all in front of me at the start line.
Racing was demanding, but also fun and exciting. My mechanical equipment performed well offering no surprises. My body was protesting but the brain kept things in perspective. I thought perhaps I would see another Bikeman rider during the weekend but this proved not to be the case. The event was generally well run and officiated. There was some confusion about feeding in the hot weather, but nearly everyone I spoke with was jazzed to finally be racing their cyclocross bikes again. This turned out to be a great level set to my season. I'm glad to have made the trip to experience Ellison Park again.
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