Monday, January 18, 2016

MELISSA BARKER TAKES THE MASTERS WOMEN 40-44 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE!!

Coverage provided by CXMagazine.com

ASHEVILLE, North Carolina—In a heated battle for the front of the race, Melissa Barker (Evol Elite Racing) overcame a late-race crash to take the win just ahead of Sally Annis (Pedal Power Team-MA) and Christina Gokey-Smith (Dallas Bike Works CX).
From the start, Barker, last year’s silver medalist, Annis and Gokey-Smith, who rode to fifth place in Austin, rode hip to hip changing positions but none letting any other have a gap of more than a few feet. Gokey-Smith led the race briefly as they blasted down the Kask flyover but by the end of the first circuit it was Barker in the lead with Annis and Gokey-Smith latched on.
Behind them Jennifer Nowlin (Power Fix CCX) chased alone in fourth and further back, last year’s winner, Kristin Weber (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo) sat in sixth, frustratingly close to the final podium spot behind Jane Burlew in fifth.

Half way into the race Weber looked to be closing in on Burlew, but slipped on the off camber heading to the top of the course before the barn and lost precious seconds.
At two to go it seemed like it was Annis’ race. Annis attacked Barker on the finishing straight and was looking strong. And later in the lap, Barker crashed, seemingly giving Annis a solid advantage.
That though was neutralized by Annis’ own fall at the bottom of a drop off just ahead of where Barker fell. While Barker nearly fell again later, she was able to recover and take charge of the race again, this time for good.
Barker stretched it out over the flyover descent and held off Annis at the finale. Gokey-Smith nearly closed in on the lead pair but had to settle for third this year.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Melissa crowned Colorado State Champ, Ken takes 3rd to close out the season


Colorado Cross racing wrapped up this past weekend with an ultimate weather showdown at Castle Rock's Ryolite Park, where mud, melting snow, frozen ruts and plenty of moisture made for a challenging and fun course.
Ken Benesh finished 3rd on the day in the Men's Open on Sunday and Melissa Barker took with big W in the Women's Master's race on Saturday, and managed a 6th place in the Women's Open on Sunday too. Congrats to everyone who toed the line!
Last but not least the team will head out to Nationals in Asheville, NC in early January.

Friday, October 16, 2015

What's a Grinduro?!



Kristen took a break from 'cross racing to travel to California for the first-ever Grinduro event. Here's a little bit of her story, which is found in full on VeloNews. Sounds like a pretty fun day on the bike!

As we move into the fall season of cyclocross racing and weekend mountain bike rides, a new kind of racing that combines elements of gravel grinding and mountain bike enduros could change what we’ve come to expect from off-road racing. Giro’s Grinduro — gravel GRINDer + mountain enDURO — took over the quaint logging town of Quincy, California in early October and served up a challenging day on the bike with steep mountain climbs, ripping singletrack descents, gourmet food stops, and gorgeous views of the Sierras.

The Grinduro’s unique race format offered a little bit of everything to a diverse crowd of racers. The 62-mile course consisted primarily of dirt and gravel mountain roads and included a healthy dose of climbing — 8,000 feet in elevation gain to be exact. However, unlike most gravel races, organizers did not time the race from start to finish. Instead, the new format borrowed from enduro mountain bike racing, timing shorter segments and then combining these times at the end of the day to determine the overall winners. Some gran fondos offer this kind of racing on the road as well.

Read more >>

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Divine Providence

Near the top of any US crosser's list for checking the box on historic, classic and challenging courses where the weather can deliver anything from snow, to rain and mud, or simply perfect early fall crisp conditions, is Divine Providence/ KMC CX Festival at Roger Williams Park in Providence, RI. It is arguably THE race weekend of the year as it closes out what's referred to as Holy Week, where over ten days, six races are run across four classic venues in New England with top racers from all over the country participating in search of early-season UCI and USA Cycling’s season-long Pro CX series points.

Having grown up on in the Northeast but never raced there, Josh had long wanted to make a trip out to race these courses and this year the stars finally aligned to make it all happen. While Hurricane Joaquin threatened to reek havoc up along the Eastern seaboard a few days prior to the weekend, the mudder that could have been was only slightly wet and cold on Saturday and fast and dry by Sunday. The racing was, as expected, super competitive with huge 80+ rider fields and without any UCI, Josh lined up both days at the back of the bus, 10 rows deep. But with some great encouragement and cheering from his family, he managed to chase down half the field and finish top 40 and had a fantastic time railing the rolling, flowing and dynamic course that featured 3 flyovers, a massively steep run-up and/or chute descent and at least on Saturday, dreamy perfectly damp dirt.

It was a dream trip come true.
Easily my biggest fan on the day, cousin Sophie with a well timed photobomb by Daimo of NoosaCX. 
Team Cannondale's Hyde and White blew the field apart on Day 2, flying down the chute. Photo cred: © 2015 John Kavouris from CXHairs.com
Dreamy course conditions on Saturday. Cold, soft, slick and fun!
The run up on the first lap of Saturday, if you weren't in the top 10 here you were chit-chatting your way up this thing, getting banged in the head with wheels and pedals from all sides and had a lot of work to do. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

CrossVegas!

Grant and Josh headed over to fabulous Las Vegas to kick off their cyclocross racing season on the infamous velcro-like gras of CrossVegas. This year, the main event was held as a World Cup level race, the first ever held in the United States and the fans and international racing scene delivered. 
The Evol boys debuted the new team kit and steeds at the late afternoon USA Cycling 1/2/3 race, the 2016 Giant TCX Advanced Pro paired with Kappius Components wheels and Clement tubulars
From a field of 100+ riders, both Gran and Josh quickly made their way to the front, and formed a select 10 person group for the first two laps of the race. This year's course featured more twists and turns, uphill off camber climbs, a longer sand pit and 5 sets of sand-filled stairs. 
After a tangle in this sandpit on lap two of four, Josh burned most of his matches to latch back on the lead group with 1 to go. Grant, the ever present Coach & teammate, went to the front and kept it hard but steady, giving Josh a chance to recover in time for a few final attacks before the drag race finish where he managed to pull a good sprint together for 6th and Grant 9th. 
Much revelry followed in the Boulder Cycle Sport / YogaGlo Cycling Team and Noosa Professional Cyclocross Team tents cheering on our World Cup racers. CrossVegas was a true spectacle, with thousands of fans partying in the desert night air, while the world's best battled it out under the lights. Music, beer, pro-level heckling and strobe lights filled the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex late into the evening. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Closing out the fat tire season on a high note

After a summer of racing and riding mountain bikes around Colorado and Utah, Josh closed out his mountain bike season on a high note by taking first overall in the Midweek Mountain Bike Series, including five wins over the 12 races throughout the summer.

"I was really excited to learn about the Midweek series here in Utah and made it a goal this summer to try and take the overall," said Josh. "Having created many great memories through a similar weekly series in Boulder, the CU Short Track races, it was great to see a similar program and community vibe here in Utah too."

With the geography and climate of the Wasatch as a varied backdrop, the Midweek Series takes a different spin on your average weekly series. Tuesday night racing starts up in late April and runs through mid-August, but with six different venues that are used as the snow melts and the temps rise. And instead of the blood-curdling pace of a 20- to 30-minute short track race, Midweeks offer up an hour of racing, with just the perfect dose of single track to keep everyone honest, sharp, and happy. "Being able to race multiple venues and courses throughout the Wasatch, all within a 30 minute drive of home, was one of my favorite parts of doing the series. They start in Draper at the Corner Canyon trail system where its usually dry by April, then head up to Round Valley in Park City, a lower-lying zone full of sage and super flowy trails, and then the races alternate between Deer Valley, Solitude and Snowbird for some thin air suffering in the alpine. The courses are usually set up the best parts of the local riding areas, and are often four to six miles in length." The best part is seeing the 'little rippers' — an actual category — go off 30 minutes before main groups start. Striders and wide eyed kids fly through a mini course to the cheers of the crowd. Each race ends with a big raffle from local sponsors, a BBQ and even a few Upslope beers (if you BYOB that is)!