2013 NCCX Series, Week 9

Greensboro 5 200

For the third time this season, we’ve had a double race weekend.  Races 12 and 13 were scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, both in the Triad.  Saturday’s race was in Tanglewood Park in Winston-Salem and Sunday’s race was in Bur-Mil Park in Greensboro.  I’ll recap them one at a time. Race #12 — Saturday, January 4, 2014 at Winston Salem, NC. This is my third season to race cyclocross and my first race at this venue.  Tanglewood Park is a large park sprawling across beautiful rolling hills of central North Carolina.  If you were a roadie, this was a perfect race for you.  It is what some refer to as a power course. The course consisted of very little climbing, very little cornering, very little in the way of technical elements, and lots of...

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2013 NCCX Series, Week 8

Hendersonville 9 200

Week number eight of the North Carolina Cyclocross series took us to Hendersonville, North Carolina for the only UCI race of the series.  Because it was a UCI race the turnout was larger than normal.  In fact it was the US Grand Prix race as well as the next to the last race in the UCI cyclocross series.  What made it even more important is that in the Pro field, the top three ranked riders were all within a few points. Sunday’s pro race had over 48 riders registered when a normal pro field is 20 or so riders.  All the fields were deep.  Laura Rice of Henderson County Parks and Recreation, which hosts the event each year, said there were 331 finishers on Saturday, and 330 finishers on Sunday.  When you consider that only 34 finished (or 70% of the...

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2013 NCCX Series, Weeks 6&7

Salisbury Podium 2 - 200x200

Week Six: Wilkesboro Week six of the North Carolina Cyclocross (NCCX) Series had us in Wilkesboro, North Carolina for what is by many accounts, the most physically demanding course of the season.  The shortest lap so far this season with only 1.2 miles per circuit compared to the others at between 1.6 and 1.9 miles. The average temperature was 33 degrees! It was true cyclocross weather… whatever that is?!  I think that is cycling code for miserable, but I’m still new so that’s just a wild guess.  Cold and it felt even colder because the wind was blowing 15-20 miles per hour.  It was definitely an embrocation day. The course this year was easier than last year but that’s not saying much.  It was still very physically demanding with lots of...

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2013 NCCX Series, Week 5

Pinehurst 25 200

This weekend was a busy two-days of racing, all at what is arguably one of the best cyclocross courses in the series.  Best and worst at the same time.  Best in that it threw everything at you.  Worst in that you were just plain going to hurt.  I am convinced that the course was designed by some seriously sadistic individuals — although I think some of them may have actually raced it so maybe they are masochistic. The course had sand, grass, sand, pavement, sand, single track, sand, pine straw, sand, mud, and did I say sand?  Maybe that’s why the venue is named Sandhills Community College.  The climbs had ankle deep sand, the descents had sand, there were level-ish 100 yard stretches of 6-8” deep sand.  Corners were sandy.  And then, if you’d...

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2013 NCCX Series, Week 4

durham cx 5 480

Week four — NASCROSS — was cyclocross at the Orange County Speedway just north of Durham, North Carolina. It’s not every day that we get to race on the steep banked asphalt of stock car race track, but once a year at the Durham cyclocross race we get to do just that. But in keeping with true cyclocross form, the amount of the course that is actually on pavement is small. Besides riding two-thirds of a lap on the speedway, there are several grass turns in the infield, some gravel road, a short section of cement sidewalk, some single track in the woods, some challenging off-camber turns on grass, and one steep runup. In other words, it is a great cyclocross venue. Like several of the other courses, there has been a move to make the course more...

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2013 NCCX Series, Week 3

The cross-mountain bike handled awesome but the motor definitely needed an overhaul!

The Boone-town Throw-down was race #4 of the North Carolina Cyclocross (NCCX) Series.  The venue was the same as the last two years: the High County Fairgrounds in Boone, North Carolina.  It’s an awesome venue that has it all, from run-ups, to gravel roads, to grassy fields, to slick off-camber turns, to steep climbs, and even some man-made obstacles. In short is a fun and challenging course, slightly longer than the previous courses at 1.85 miles per lap.  Most racers had to dismount four times and even the best pros dismounted at least 2 or 3 times each lap.  Put on by Boone Bike and Touring, a local bike shop, this race always captures the true spirit of cyclocross. Every year it’s a party complete with loud music, free beer, free pizza, free tamales,...

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2013 NCCX Series, Week 2

Mock Orange Bikes always has high barriers!  WTF?! Photo courtesy of Catup.com

The second week of the North Carolina Cyclocross (NCCX) Series found us at the Children’s Home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for Race #3 of the series.  The Children’s Home venue is a sprawling campus on rolling hills near downtown Winston-Salem and is both charming and historic. Last year’s race at this venue was later in the season and the course was somewhat different.  This year’s course was confined to a smaller area and several of the sections were run in the opposite direction resulting in substantially more climbing — nearly a thousand feet of climbing in a 10.5 mile race. Every race seems to be another lesson.  This was no exception.  When the whistle blew, I killed myself turning in a very fast first lap, but unfortunately I...

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