The MABRA Cyclocross Series dropped in on Chris and Fred Kelley October 4, 2009, to play in their backyard. Talk about a scene that would have driven my grandfather crazy, all those kids with their bikes on his property!
Kelley Acres ‘Cross featured lots of climbing, ridable barriers, and a Euro-style flyover. It was a great day in the country for cross racing. We caught up with some of those on the podium to see how the day went. Thanks for reading.
Kelley Acres ‘Cross took place October 4 in Middletown, Maryland. The day featured several compelling races. We are going to highlight two right now and follow up tomorrow with more from the BCA race and Kelley Acres.
The Men’s Masters 3/4 field is a strong lot. It is a sweet spot for many competitors that may not be racing as much because of family, work and other life commitments. The beauty of cyclocross is that the races are not so long that racking up hours and hours of base mile training is essential, the venues are family-friendly and the season is condensed to about three months. This is not to say it is easy, just that it is possible to be successful with short, intense training.
The Kelley Acres venue, at first glance, is not one that would favor a single-speed set-up. The course has one long climb, a fast descent into a long flat drag, and a host of elevation changes. This did not seem to concern Jonathan Seibold (Family Bike Shop), who rode his single-speed to victory in the masters 3/4 field. Jonathan ran away from the field in this race. Literally. He punched it coming in to the flyover, sprinted up the steps, and established a gap on the first lap that was never closed.
The Mens 3/4 race featured racers at the other end of the life-commitment spectrum. The first two finishers’ race ages combined, equal 36. Race winner Sam O’Keefe, racing age 16, continued his dominance of the MABRA 3/4 field. For this race, Sam teamed-up with fellow C3-Athletes Serving Athletes rider Tom Mackay, race age 20, to put a pretty good hurting on the field.
Kelley Acres Cyclocross took place October 4, 2009, in Middletown, Maryland. The event marked the second day of a double race weekend for the MABRA Cyclocross Series. Racers were greeted with an entertaining course that rewarded climbing ability and nerves of steel. A long climb, fast swoopy descent and Euro-style flyover made for a great day of racing and spectating.
The women’s elite field featured one of the best races of the day. Three women established a group early and stayed together for most of the race before Jennifer Maxwell (ATAC Sportswear p/b The Bike Rack) powered away for the win. Close on her heels were Julie Kuliecza (Alan North America Cycling) and Lenore Pipes (unattached). We caught up with this trio to get their thoughts on the race and the course. Continue reading “Kelley Acres ‘Cross: The Elite Women”
[ed. note.: Frequent masters category podium finisher Jay Morali was kind enough to pen the following column for ‘In The Crosshairs.’ Think you could do the same? Drop me a note at email@example.com.]
“Cyclocross is a drug! Cyclocross is addictive. It consumes you. It’s a good thing that the season is only a few months long otherwise I might not get anything accomplished around the house or at work.”
-Quote from a local cross racer
Am I crazy? Has racing cyclocross in all this mud messed up my brain? I am only in my second season of racing cross and I have already upgraded most of my equipment. I am riding the new all-carbon Blue Norcross frame with some sweet carbon Easton EC90 Aero tubular wheels. My cyclocross bike is more expensive and lighter than my road bike! Does that make any sense? Cross is a short season and we live in an area where you never really have to get off your road bike during the winter months. Yet, I still can’t get over the fact that I am only running Shimano Ultegra shifters on the cross bike. I wonder if I can convince the wife to let me upgrade to DA?
Am I crazy? My daily schedule is based on the date and time registration opens for local MABRA and MAC races. My desk calendar has the season laid out and my iPhone provides the morning reminder. For an upcoming race, I actually cancelled an important business meeting just so I could be in front of my computer, ready to pull the trigger, as soon as the registration window opened. And tell me I am not the only person who has screamed at their monitor because a slow computer is costing you valuable starting positions! Continue reading “Just Because You’re Crazy Doesn’t Mean You’re Wrong”
Hyattsville CX took place October 11, 2009, at Magruder Park in Hyattsville, Maryland. The course featured fast power stretches joined together by technical bits and off-camber turns. Big engines could gap the competition on the straights, those with exceptional skills could catch back up in the technical sections. We caught up with podium finishers to see how they tackled the day. Continue reading “Hyattsville CX: Podium Interviews”
Mike Birner made his tough-to-please coach happy October 11 by winning the Men’s Masters Elite race at the first Hyattsville Cyclocross at Magruder Park, Maryland. A lot of times athletes will talk about hearing their coach’s voice while they are competing. I’m assuming this is the case for Birner, who as president of Mid-Maryland Coaching, is his own little voice. In this interview, Mike does a great job breaking down the race and giving some good insight on how to attack a course.
The Breast Cancer Awareness Cyclocross Challenge presented by Antietam Velo Club took place Saturday, October 3, 2009. The first race in a weekend doubleheader for the MABRA Cyclocross Series, the course featured several hairpin turns, good off-camber riding, a sand pit made unridable by strategically placed barriers, and a mean little hill. We caught up with the podium finishers in several categories to find out about their day.
Dave Fuentes (Battley Harley Davidson-Sonoma) is an accomplished road racer that started racing cyclocross last season. He has battled this season in the Masters Elite field taking a second place at Charm City Cyclocross, third place at Kelley Acres ‘Cross, and a win at the Breast Cancer Awareness Cyclocross Challenge. With many of the area’s pro/1/2 men racing in Ohio, Fuentes took the opportunity to test his legs in the elite race at the inaugural Hyattsville CX.
It was clear from the outset that the power output that works to Fuentes’ advantage on the road would translate well on the Hyattsville course. In the early laps only one rider, Adam Driscoll (Adventures for the Cure), was able to keep close as Fuentes put in a string of brutal attacks that depleted the field. The pair stuck together for about 45 of the 60 minute race. But after Driscoll lost his chain, Fuentes established a gap and went into time trial mode to seal the victory.
Following the win and podium presentation, while most racers and spectators made their ways back to their cars, Fuentes and his podium-mates stayed at the venue to escort a group of Special Olympics athletes through the course. The race was able to raise close to $3000 for the Special Olympics organization and it was great to see Dave, Adam Driscoll, Patrick Blair and Chris Consorto take the time to help the cause.
Following the race we caught up with Fuentes to ask him about his day. If you are a hardcore roadie that still hasn’t caught the ‘cross bug, pay special attention to this interview. Here is a guy that is still “learning” the sport of cyclocross (50 psi in the Dugasts??), yet winning races and having a blast. Continue reading “Hyattsville CX: An Interview With Dave Fuentes”