Alex Kim races through the mud.
by Joshua McCarrel
This is the second time we have put on a race at Art Dye Park in American Fork, Utah. We did one last year, and this year we have extended it into a three race series, with another date in the works for a night race under the lights.
Team Clammy Chamois has been putting the “C’s” in Cyclocross for three years now. No sponsorships, no paid entry fees, just a lot of “Mud and Guts on 3″ type of support, and the occasional Bratwurst fry at the races. That being said, we have tried to create a race that is fun to ride for those of us who don’t quite make it to the podium every week.
The venue is a city sports venue with three baseball diamonds and several soccer fields. Several acres of flat, fast, grass, an asphalt jogging path, gravel, sand, and stream crossings. There is a wooded area that the city doesn’t maintain where the local BMX groms have built a maze of trails and dirt jumps. An 18 hole disc golf course also winds through the trees creating several natural runups and barriers.
American Fork City has been fantastic to work with. We have basically been given free reign in the park. In regards to the wooded area, I was told, “You can do whatever you want in there” by the Parks and Rec director. This has opened up a world of options.
This year, construction on a local canal has redirected a lot of ground water into the wooded area creating a muddy swamp, giving us a rare opportunity for some early season mud in Utah.
The C flight was off at 9:30 am. A cool morning had the grass wet and soft. Team Clammy Chamois racer Ryan Cobourn got the holeshot and held the lead through the technical tree section but faded in the later laps to a mid-pack finish. Michael Moody, a local Expert MTB racer, decided to try his hand at cyclocross for the first time ever. He has since been asked to upgrade. Racing on his 26″ hardtail MTB he soon had a minute gap on the closest contender and would hold onto it for the rest of the race. The high pace put a good share of the pack down a lap at the finish.
Despite discounted entry fees, only four women showed up to race, so all categories were combined and the ladies had the course to themselves. Erika Powers and Alison Vrem raced A’s. Theresa Carr and Rachel Clayson raced B’s. The technical course strung the girls out quite a bit over the course and the final results had Erika Powers winning the A’s and Theresa Carr taking the B’s
After a shortened, free race for the kids 12 and under, the Men’s A’s were up. Last year’s Clammy Cross Champion Eric Rasmussen of KUHL racing showed up as well as local wunderkind Keegan Swenson racing for Whole Athlete Cycling.
At the gun, the pack soon filed into a line with Swenson out front. This is how it would go for the next 60 minutes. Cody Haroldsen of Ski Utah was the closest competitor for most of the race, but Swenson would eventually extend his lead to over two minutes per lap. At one point Swenson even lost a pedal, was able to pit with no bike get the pedal repaired and still maintain better than one minute on the Haroldsen. For his part, Eric Rasmussen paced himself throughout the race and lap by lap started picking off racers one by one. At the finish, it would be Swenson, Haroldsen, and Rasmussen on the podium.
As the day wore on, the grass dried out and the B’s had the best conditions for the final race. Ben Cline who had signed up to race A’s took a look at the technical course and asked to race with the B’s. It worked out for him. Taking a commanding lead in the second lap and holding it until the end. Andrew Love was next on the podium followed by Jeff Austin who finally pulled a podium spot from his nemesis at the local crit series, Alex Kim.
- Keegan Swenson
- Justin Doll
- Eric Rasmussen
- Cody Haroldsen
- Darren Cottle
- Rick Sunderlage
- Bo Pitkin
- Ben Brutsch
- Seth Bradley
- Adam Lisonbee
- Mark Albrecht
- Joe Johnson
- Erika Powers
- Alison Vrem