The USGP of Cyclocross returned to Bend for its final round. Wet weather before the event and cold temperatures kept the dust away and provided some slick course conditions and a bit of mud. The course featured some of the same elements used before (flyover, staircase) and added some new elements (sand section, dirt monolith run-ups) to keep things interesting.
The OBRA CX Champs race had light attendance, but that didn't stop racers from going hard and battling it out to the end. Long flat sections, tight twisty sections, a small lake, and lots of other interesting terrain made for a great course.
Everyone had visions of deep, slick, sloppy mud. The PIR Heron Lake course has hosted really muddy races before. Two weeks of rain had everyone excited for the first truly messy cross race of the season. Unfortunately, it just didn't turn out that way. There was some mud but without any rain on race day, the course dried out and turned more tacky than sticky.
A couple of days of rain, after one of the longest stretches of dry weather in NW history, gave racers a small taste of the mud and slick conditions that Oregon cyclocross is known for. Rainier's hilly landscape was put to good use by the course designers with lots of punchy climbs mixed in with the high school's huge uphill.
One of the longest dry spells in Northwest history meant that StarCrossed was raced in a dust bowl instead of the wet sloppy conditions experienced in years past. Taking a break from the UCI schedule kept most of the big name racers away but that didn't mean the racing was any slower or less exciting for the rowdy crowd filling the beer garden. Yet again, MFG Cyclocross put on a great day and night of cyclocross racing.
Dust! The story of the day. While previous races had sand, this race had dust. A fine layer of dust on top of hard packed, rocky ground. The dust made handling a bit tricky and hid a few rocks, but despite its abundance, this new course was a real treat. Close enough to ride to and held under sunny skies, Ironclad's race is a nice addition to the calendar.
Round 4 of the Grand Prix Tina Brubaker series returned to Vancouver, WA with a sand-filled course along the banks of the Columbia River.
The Grand Prix Tina Brubaker visited a new course in Cascade Locks for round three of the race series. The course featured long sections of wooded single track, a short sand section, and lots of wind and dust. With top placings earning call-up points for Cross Crusade, racers fought hard for every position.
Seattle's CX season got underway at Big Finn Hill Park in Kirkland under cloudy skies and a mild threat of rain. A huge turnout bodes well for the rest of the races in the series as everyone seems to like the casual atmosphere and fun courses that MFG puts together.
The Grand Prix Tina Brubaker series of independently promoted races around Oregon returns for its second year with a slightly different name. It also served as the kick-off race for cyclocross in Oregon. Nice sunny weather greeted racers as they raced on flat grass, paved trails and a bit of forested single track.