Written by Jerry Hughes Monday, 02 November 2015 00:00
I only have one regret about the Plymouth Festival of Cyclocross... only racing one of the days! Being the day after Halloween, I woke up to a trash can full of candy wrappers and a stiff sugar headache. My friend Todd Anderson picked me up at 7am and we were off – bound for Plymouth, MA – to race in the Plymouth Festival of Cyclocross. I only entered day 2 this year. Next year I will most definitely do both days! This place is a mountain biker's dream!
We got there with plenty of time for chit chat and warm up. The weather was perfect. I watched Todd compete in the large 4/5 race going off 1 hour before my event (masters 35+). The course had a super fun technical single track descent w/ nasty exposed roots all at fun angles to keep you on your game. Following the descent was a nasty run-up then a short sprint to some sand followed by more single track. I was excited to see so much time in the woods. I don’t like 'cross races that are basically time trials through grass fields and this was definitely not that.
The 4/5 race ended and we were corralled into the starting grid. It had started to drizzle so folks were worried about the sky opening up on us but, it never happened. I was comfy in my long sleeve Bikeman.com skin suit (circa 2009). I don’t have a ton of points so I was third row back. I was psyched about that due to the obvious charge needed to get to the technical sections first. 2 min warning... 1 min warning... and we were OFF!
I usually have a better start but not today. I was lacking a good punch up the short pavement riser. I entered the woods in roughly middle of the pack. I fought my way through the first lap and generally stayed in that position the remainder of the event. The course had it all; fast stairs to bound up at speed, thick loose sand, fast pavement, jumps, fields, and twisty single track. It. Was. Awesome.
This was by far the best course I have ridden this year and I hear that Saturday’s event on the same course (slight changes) was just as good. I’ll be back next year. The masters field was a bit thin because of another event going on at the same time in another state. It is so great seeing so many cross races each weekend to choose from!
Results here. If you are within 2 hours of Plymouth MA, you need to ensure this race is on your schedule for 2016. If you decide to check it out be sure to take a spin through downtown Plymouth. Great places for a bite and the waterfront areas are perfect. I can’t wait to come back next year!
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