(Plus: Top 5 Symptoms of a Cyclocross Hangover and Junior Barrier Hopping Video)
It wasn’t quite like the triple header into the sand pit of the viral video from Kansas City, but the typical barriers were quite a challenge for even the elite at the Zipp OVCX Series race #2, St. Mary’s Childcare Cyclocross at Indianapolis’ Fort Harrison State Park. The barriers came after a 150 meter section with only a soft curve as a hindrance to speed. On warm up, many of the nearly 500 registered riders were coming into them hot, way hot. According to Women’s Elite winner Katie Arnold (Bob’s Red Mill), “On the first lap a couple of us got caught up in the barriers and Ashley (James-KCCX/Fuji p/b Challenge Tires) saw her chance and took off, leaving Niki (aka AnnaJean Dallaire-Papa John’s Racing) and I behind to chase.”
In the women’s elite race, as the OVCX Zipp Female athlete of the week, Arnold pushed her loaner carbon 303 wheels to the limit. “I crashed going up the big hill. Yes I crashed going ‘up’ hill. Who does that?” That allowed Dallaire to come around her. To Arnold’s credit, the climb was split into three technical sections criss-crossing the hill, forcing riders to navigate off camber changes in direction all the way up. She dug deep, caught and passed Dallaire back and started working her way up to James.
The high speed off-camber eventually caught up to James and that’s where Arnold closed the gap. “I’m pretty sure she (James) crashed right before the climb section. I caught her on the road right after that. She said that she thought she was getting a flat, and seemed to be struggling a bit to keep up the pace. So I just put my head down, went around her and was able to open up a pretty good gap!” Arnold, with James at 1:00, and Dallaire another :30 made up the St Mary’s elite women’s podium.
Fresh off a breakthrough 3rd place at the mid-week St. Louis’ Gateway Cross Cup behind Ben Berden and Jonathan Page, Joshua Johnson (Bissell-ABG-Nuvo) hopped the barriers and never looked back taking the win in the men’s elite race. For at least a lap the cowbells rang hard as Andrew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill) chased up from a race day registration back row start to close within ten seconds of Johnson. However heroic, it was short lived. Dillman, just hours off a morning win at a MWCCC collegiate mountain bike race at nearby Purdue, started to crack, eventually fading to 18th. Two minutes behind Johnson, Dillman’s teammate Mitchell Kersting kept up the chase and maintained the gap for a solid 2nd. Christopher Bogedin (Wolverine Racing) rounded out the podium seconds behind Kersting.
Johnson wasn’t the only one at OVCX hopping the barriers. Check out the video of U19 Junior Gavin Haley (Red Zone Cycling) taking them at high speed here on You Tube.
Congratulations to this week’s Zipp OVCX’s Athletes of Week: Scott Baumer (Indiebike.com p/b Angies List) and Terry Meek (Don Walker Cycles Racing). Baumer upgraded from Cat 3 last week and placed 10th out of 60 in his first elite men’s race. Terry, after taking some time off with her career, has shown her old fast self this season. She attacked early at St Mary’s to finish up in 6th place in the elite women’s wave. OVCX Athletes of the week will get to race a set of Zipp 303 Firecrest tubulars at this coming Saturday’s OVCX #3 Caesars Ford CX in Xenia, OH.
The OVCX Series is presented by Zipp, Papa John’s Pizza, RoadID, BikeReg and Capitol Bicycles.
Finally, according to the OVCX Facebook Page here are “The Top 5 Symptoms of a Monday Morning Cyclocross Hangover”:
5: Playing C.S.I. Cyclocross, by examining bruises and figuring out where they came from.
4: The compulsion to seek and tag photos before paying work actually begins.
3: First rule of Fight Club: don’t talk about Fight Club.
2: My cowbell is sore.
1: Heckling co-workers as they walk by.