12 October 2015
For the Sacramento Cyclocross Series, Julie Young (Roseville Cyclery) and Gareth Feldstein (Real Wheels) picked up where they left off at Orangevale 2 weeks ago. Both came out winners for the Elite races in the heat and dust of Maidu Regional Park. As before, Young battled with Hollie McGovern (Real Wheels) before pulling away late in the race. Feldstein’s task was more taxing for this race after a strong ride from Liam Dunn (Clif Bar) kept the race’s outcome in doubt until the final lap.
Jen and Clint Classen, and their entire SacCX crew, made it another well executed event complete with a now standard beer garden and food truck plus music from the Gheto crew. It was another good turn-out for the series with 379 race-entries including 71 in Women’s categories.
SacCX also laid out a terrific course, taking advantage of everything available at a city park. The terrain included grass, hard-packed dirt, gravel, and paved pathways. In amongst some of the technical sections under tree cover, plenty of plant debris and off-camber made for challenging riding. There were plenty of transitions between surfaces that required acute attention. And, for an area that is mostly flat, the course had plenty of elevation changes from a soft, sand-pit shallow mound to two difficult run-ups. The second of the latter followed a left-hand turn at the bottom of a decline that rose up, into, and over three plank barriers. This was the reward racers saw after a short climb leading into this section.
The big, steep run-up, some 7m high, had a loose top layer to the racer’s right that invited riding the bike to the top. To the left was a shallow, dry gully perfect for foot holds except for a couple of tree roots exposed by erosion from long-ago rains. Riding this big run up was certainly a huge expenditure of energy and certainly faster than most could run. However, the penalty for failing to ride all the way to the top was a difficult slide back down and plenty of lost time. To make the run-up that much harder, it too was situated after a turn at the bottom of a downhill to spill the momentum of racers.