Spring cyclocross is growing in Colorado, and last Sunday represented the final race of the two-race Cult Cross series. Will spring ‘cross make its way to you? Judging by this little series, there just might be a future for it.
by Larry Grossman
While the crowd watched team tactics only a roadie could love during the Cult Cross 2009 Gran Final Men’s Open race this past Sunday, I was struck once again by exactly what I was indeed watching. With a surprise attack from Brett Morgan of Mafia/PBR racing early out of a very talented field, and a chase group of teammate Jake Wells (top 20 at Nationals) and Spike Shooter riders David Overstreet and Mark Thompson, both teammates of Katie Compton, and then throw in Darrin Cheek and State Singlespeed CX champion Brian Hutchison (Subaru/Vista Auto), it was a scene you could only hope for at a big-time fall CX classic somewhere.
Brett Morgan only last fall jumped into the CX ring, but came with a very heavy MTB background. The same guy we howled at early last season because he did not know how to shoulder his bike but raced anyway was off the front with teammate Wells keeping tabs on the chasers who stayed together until three laps to go. Then the Wells afterburners kicked in as he sprung to the leader with an astonishing effort leaving the chasers to battle for the third podium spot. The crowd had watched Darrin Cheek (The Sneak) sit tight and just off the back of the chasers for most of the race, and when he felt weakness in the Spike Shooter riders (who to their credit had raced in an epic battle with Indy Fab rider Tim Faia earlier in the day in the 35+ race) put down the hammer and was able to drive the final nail in their coffin to take the third spot at the finish line.
Meanwhile, Jake Wells was riding with Morgan as they hit the bell lap. The last time over the Cult barriers Jake cramped and Morgan was able to escape for a great win, his last before moving back east to attend school. They were followed by Overstreet, Thompson and Hutchison, who earlier in the day had won the Singlespeed race handily.
The 35+ race was a classic as well with Faia, Overstreet and Thompson throwing body blows for the first thirty five minutes of racing when Faia just decided to go off and leave the Spike Shooter teammates to do battle for second. What was sure to be a dagger fight to the finish ended early when Thompson had a brake hood slip locking up his brakes for a DNF.
In the women’s open, Megan Taylor (CoMotion Sports) was the class of the series with a second place in Race #1 and a victory in Race #2 despite mechanical issues.
I think all who attended would agree it was a great race. And it’s almost as if “Air or Scare” and the “Truth or Dare” bridges as well as the CX BMX section are now an integral part of cyclocross, the only difference being that it’s the spring.
The post series swag raffle was BIG, with coolio gear from Cyclocross Magazine, Kona, Maxxis, Moots, Squirt Lube, Mountain Pedaler, The Gear Box and Mafia/PBR Racing all contributing. Everyone who stuck around walked with some swag and the post-series celebration took place at Charlie Brown’s Mountain Pedaler bike shop on Broadway in Eagle. Coffee was provided for all by Yeti’s Grind and was killer.
Cult Cross isn’t going anywhere but up racers. Numbers doubled this year and will grow next year as well. We hope to see you there. 2010 is already in the planning stages. Come suffer in the spring as you do in the fall, it’s the perfect launching pad into your MTB or road season, or shortens the timeframe in which you can gain weight. Many thanks to the Eagle County Fairgrounds and all the people who helped make Cult Cross 2009 happen!
Other Series overall points winners were:
Junior Ian Mcpherson (flat Iron Flyers) 200 Points
SM 45+ Charlie Brown (Mountain Pedaler) 200 Points
SM 65+ Loren Hettinger (Schwab) 100 Points
SM 35+ David Overstreet (Spike Shooter) 185 Points
Single Speed Brian Hutchison (Subaru/Vista) 200 Points
M 4′s Andrew Wagner 175 Points
M 3′s Courtney Gregory (Mafia/PBR) 200 Points
W 4′s Sue Bardsley 165 Points
W Open Megan Taylor (CoMotion Sports) 185 Points
M Open Darrin Cheek (Copper Mountain) 165 Points