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, 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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2013 NCCX Series, Week 1

Find the evidence of my early crashes and note my right foot not clipped in.

The North Carolina Cyclocross (NCCX) Series started off with a vengeance with two of the toughest courses back to back on the same weekend.  Saturday kicked off the season in Charlotte’s Veterans Park and Sunday we raced in Lions Park in the heart of Raleigh. Race #1 – Saturday October 19, 2013 – Charlotte, NC This was my third time racing at Charlotte and each time the course gets harder.  Last year I crashed on the approach to the runup and cracked a rib.  This year I was injury free, although I did go down on the first two of six laps, both times in the same steeply off-camber turn. Although I’d ridden it cleanly in practice, the course had changed during the first few races and by the time it was our turn it was very sketchy.  Fortunately,...

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Pre-Season Cyclocross Races 4 & 5 at Zebulon & Durham, NC

Bright and sunny and 91 degrees!  I thought CX was a winter sport!

This year I decided to race the BHB Cross Central Cyclocross Series as a cyclocross tuneup.  Last week I reported on the in the series, all held held at the Spring Hill Campus of Dorothea Dix Hospital in downtown Raleigh.  The final weekend was a Saturday and a Sunday race, Saturday at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, and Sunday at Rock Quarry Park in Durham. A couple of things make races four and five stand out from the first three.  The first three each had an average race temperature of 71 degrees.  Race four was a blistering 91 and race five was not much better at 80 degrees.  Remember, cyclocross is a sport where you race flat-out for about 45-50 minutes with average heart rate well above 90% of max HR. The courses were much different from the very...

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“SERC #8” XC Race at Woolwine, VA

Riders meeting is about to start..

The Southern Classic Series, the Virginia Off Road Series, and the South East Regional Cup (SERC) schedules all intersected this weekend at I.C. Dehart Park in Woolwine, Virginia.  For those unfamiliar with Woolwine, it is located about 15 miles across the North Carolina border due north of Winston-Salem.  Google Maps says it is a three hour and thirty-nine minute drive, but given the back roads and bad directions, it was more like four hours. The race course was 8.5 miles in length and was a figure eight course with the first section being 3.5 miles of some of the steepest, “gut-busting-est” climbs you’ll ever ride looping back and overlapping the same trail with a  very cool “fly-over” bridge that leads you into the second and larger 5.0 mile loop...

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“Hobby Park” XC Race at Winston-Salem, NC

Matt Podium Hobby Park 480

The Southern Classic Series cross country mountain bike race in Winston-Salem, North Carolina is held in a venue named Hobby Park.  The park likely got its name because if you have a hobby, this is your park.  It has a runway for radio controlled airplanes, two tracks for radio controlled cars, a long paved hill for soap box derby racing, nice trails for running and or hiking, and last, but not least, it has a great mountain bike trail. The race course is 6.7 miles in length beginning and ending at the model airplane runway and is thickly wooded with a mix of pine and deciduous trees, as well as all manner of vegetation.  The trail surface itself is for the most part hard-packed, dark, loamy soil that is riddled with tree roots — probably one of the more...

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