The 1999 Irvine Park Cyclocross
'Cross is Hard
Remember that stupid Barbie that would spout "Math is hard" on command? Well, it's a good thing Barbie never rode 'cross because she'd toss some plastic lung tissue for sure.
I'll be honest, I like to watch people suffer. You do too, c'mon admit it. That's why you follow bike racing. That's why so many people watched this race from the top of the run-up. Those guys were grooving on the looks on rider's faces as they crested the climb wanting nothing more than to put the bike down, knowing they couldn't because of the barriers just over the top. They liked yelling out the elapsed time to someone, hearing them respond "Huh?" or with a blank stare. You know it'd take a bullhorn to penetrate the lactic acid and fatigue and you think it's cool to watch. Yeah, me too.
The funny thing is so many entrants really seemed to enjoy it. A lot of folks came back from last year, and a number of entrants that are new to 'cross told me they enjoyed the experience. You know you're reaching people when you hear a mountain biker say "I gotta get a 'cross bike." So read on and share this tale of co-dependency...
Pat Rasmus led the C race from the start although Kevin Potter maintained enough contact to remain a threat. On the Women's side an experienced Becky Fuller was the victor over two 'cross novices. They were both enthusiastic about the race though, we hope they come back to challenge Becky next year.
- C Race - 30min - 8 starters
Matt Huron survived strong challenges from Andy Powell, Tom Miller, and a fast starting Tom Stafford to lead the B race from start to finish. John Waldron was the fastest of the 45+ over an admirable John Krawczak, who was standing further from 45 than John was.
- B Race - 40min - 10 starters
The well ventilated Arik Holm was the story in the A race. The returning champ from last year, he faced a stronger field this time around. No matter, Arik raced away from the start, leaving the uncertainty to the competition for 2nd place. In an era where people spend large sums of money on gram shaving doo-dads like SRP bolts it's good to know there are still guys like Arik who don't even bother to remove their piercings. Arik offered to remove his jersey to expose more heavy metal for the picture. I declined, and I leave the reader to contemplate the choice of the word 'more' vs 'all'.
|Arik smokes the run-up on the first lap. He already has a considerable gap. 645K|
|The run-up was a major differentiator in the race. It caused problems for the gravitationally enhanced. This is the first time up for the field after Arik had already passed.|
|This picture is from just over one lap into the race
and shows how quickly Arik distanced himself from the
Note the textbook carrying technique.
|Eventually the first pursuit group shows up. 1.1M|
|A mix of carrying styles is displayed by the 2nd pursuit group.|
The race up for grabs was the one for 2nd place which soon boiled down to a duel between Dale Sedgewick and Fred Feirn. Air Threinen was a participant for a while but withdrew in the face of the greater fitness exhibited by Sedgewick and Feirn. And it was fitness that won the day for Sedgewick as the repeated assaults of the run-up wore more quickly on Feirn.
Threinen started well and held on for 4th, while Harry Anderson worked hard to keep a gap on Pat Dowling for the last paying spot. Dave Cihasky brought a mountain bike and coughed up lots of time on the faster parts of the course. But he was still the fastest 35+ rider.
- A Race - 50min - 17 starters
- Arik Holm - Portland, Or
- Dale Sedgewick - Minneapolis, Mn
- Fred Feirn - Minneapolis, Mn
- Colin Threinen - Minneapolis, Mn
- Harry Anderson - Superior, Wi
- Pat Dowling - Minneapolis, Mn
- Dave Cihasky (35+) - Chippewa Falls, Wi
- Keith Kowalsky - Minneapolis, Mn
- Jared Roy - St. Paul, Mn
- Paul Sadosky - Fargo, ND
- Mike Johnson (35+) - Chippewa Falls, Wi
- Tim Boyle (35+) - Minneapolis, Mn
- Tom Colburn (35+) - Minnetonka, Mn
- Wallace Hay - Minneapolis, Mn.
Wallace Hay flatted early, but was so eager for the 'cross experience he fixed the flat and rejoined the race.
|Pete Hannah - DNF|