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Cyclocross Goes Hawaiian Style, Cristina Begy Battles Men for Nats Training
Cyclocross made its return debut to the state of Hawaii after a thirty year absence with the hang loose version of Wednesday Night Worlds on October 14th and 21st . We’ve got a report from the first race below. Think Hawaii has nothing to do with cyclocross? Thing again. The Aloha State is where Cyclocross Magazine’s editor and founder, Andrew Yee grew up and first raced on dirt, sand and mud.
Warm tradewinds and sunny skies greeted the mostly-newcomer field at Sand Island State Park in Honolulu. The “Mr. Frick and Mr. Frack’s Better Late than Never Cyclocross Race” kicked off the first of a three race series.
Between the mad scramble to find a proper bike on a ‘cross poor island, and the “Oh Crap!” moments experienced when people approached the first barrier with a run up at speed during warm-ups provided the crowd with some great humor. The trophy feature was a 60-yard deep sand beach run which had the full suspension mtb. riders wondering about their weapon choice. A few others were looking at waist high city swell with longboards on their minds during the beach run section. After the first lap antics, most of the riders were on the up side of the cyclocross learning curve and no crashes or injuries were reported.
The first three laps had a group of six well-known locals leading the carnage behind them. The group held together until a huge surge by Dan Miller with two laps to go split the final group of five. Dan’s Quick Release teammate Carl Brooks rocked out on a 29er singlespeed, very happy to not have to give chase to Mr. Miller and followed wheels for about a lap and a half. Then Carl made a move of his own to secure second overall. In third place was Ray Brust who thinks he won the last Hawaiian cyclocross event some 30 years ago [Ed. Note - it may not have been quite that long since cyclists hit Rosevelt High School].Dan Miller stated ” That was the first bike race I ever won” as he rolled in alone on a borrowed titanium crossbike. We may see more of Dan Miller at the front of the races in the near future.
Hawaii’s cyclocross ace Cristina Begy worked the lead group pretty hard with her sand running and barrier skills. All the Men’s A riders noticed her polished skills and had to close gaps she opened at the barriers. Others stated her sand running was pretty amazing as well. Cristina finished a solid fourth in Men’s A, and was the first overall woman. Maria Stewart and Rachel Beckmann rounded out the women’s field. Cristina was pretty happy to have a few local races to tune up her form for Nationals in Bend this December.
Aloha Single Speeders rider Ralph Cady riding a fixed gear skinny tire road bike took home the Miss Mary’s bag of homemade cookies award for his gallant ride in the “Old Slow Guys” class.
A good time was had by all and one would think the local bike shops will be selling cross tires and a few new bikes like mad this week.
The riders helped event directors Mr. Frick and Mr. Frack pick up flags, cones and barriers ahead of the fast looming darkness during their cool down rides. For the modest $5 entry fee top riders three deep were surprised when they were given a bag of cookies from Mr. Fracks wife Miss Mary and a case of Mix 1 provided by Clayton Chee. Special thanks to BIKEFACTORY and the Quick Release Cycling Team for their volunteers and loan of race equipment.The race series offers riders one more opportunity for Hawaiian-style cyclocross this Wednesday, October 28th, and costume shops on the island are also gearing up for this costume-themed race. Santa Cruz and Socal ain’t got nothing on Honolulu!
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