Sunday, October 30, 2016
2016 Sunnyview Cross
Oshkosh was a new host city on the 2015 WCA cyclocross calendar. Today the 2nd edition of the race proved to be even better than the inaugural.
That’s not to say I had a good result. I was 13th out of 14 overall in Cat 1/2/3 Masters 45+ and 7th out of 8 Cat 3s. I was the meat in a West Bend sandwich: Troy Sable (unattached) took 12th place and Jeff Wren (Team Extreme) took 14th in his first Masters race as a Cat 3. Midway through Lap 1, I was close behind Sable and Anthony James (Team Extreme) when I crashed. There were a few spots on the course that never dried out today, and I found one! I resumed quickly but never got close to Sable and James again. In many ways, my performance today mirrored my performance last weekend at Fitchburg. I actually rode a very strong race, and the crash wasn’t that big of a deal; I just lost to guys who were faster. Joe Curtes (Twin Six) was today’s winner.
The course was really cool, a big improvement over last year’s. Race director Wade Loberger and his Wheel & Sprocket teammates kept the challenging hill in play but otherwise completely redesigned things. Sunnyview Exposition Center is the home of the Winnebago County Fair, and today’s race took us through the animal barns with a tip of the hat to Jingle Cross, the UCI race at the fairgrounds in Johnson County IA. The course was a balanced mix of power sections, rhythm sections, grass, asphalt, concrete, dirt, sand, gravel … it was cool. And the expo center itself provided a warm place for registration and for podium presentations, a comfortable spot for post-race refreshments, and proper bathrooms. I wouldn’t change a thing in 2017.
Wren’s upgrade to Cat 3 is a big deal. If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, then you know that Jeff and I train together and race together frequently. It’s a great rivalry and a great partnership, but making it work has been difficult during this cyclocross season. His Cat 4 Masters races were at 9 a.m. and my Cat 1/2/3 Masters races were at 2:16 p.m., so carpooling wasn’t always convenient. Either I was going to the race venue far too early, or he was staying far too late. We’re back on the same schedule now and even though we’re fighting for lowly positions, it’s good to be in the same fight again!
Posted by Dave Hanrahan at 9:00 PM