Stop number four of the Seattle Cyclocross series landed at a new venue — the King County Fairgrounds in Enumclaw, WA. With Halloween a day away riders donned costumes, Mother Nature dished out some tricks, and New Belgium supplied the treats (to those 21+) with free beer being handed out at two strategically stationed beer tents — one on top of the run up and the other at the infield barriers. With steady rains overnight, authentic ‘cross conditions were in order with the course being greasy in the morning and deteriorating further throughout the day. Lots of twists and turns on the infield section were book-ended by a long straightaway into the cow barn and the vicious run up aptly named the “Grim Reaper.” After the steep, thigh-burner riders then had to negotiate some single track, a down hill with an off camber turn at the bottom, a 30 meter mud bog, and an off-camber section of slick grass that would then bring them back towards the infield area. Throw in a few downpours throughout the day and epic Northwest ’cross conditions were on!
The Elite Men saw the race explode from the start with Revel Consulting/Rad Racing’s Steve Fisher jumped out to an early lead on the very first lap. He was chased by Morgan Schmitt (Cyclocrossracing.com), Gian Dalle (Don Walker Cycles), Logan Wetzel (Second Ascent) and John Christian Flack (Olympia Orthopedic). Schmitt would crash and drop from the chase on lap number two and Wetzel would fall victim to a flat. Dalle got a gap on Flack and it grew until the end of the race. Fisher rode alone at the front and took top honors with a time gap of well over a minute to Dalle. Flack would finish third and Schmitt would come back to finish fourth after his early crashes.
The Elite Women’s field, while small, was very competitive again just as it has been all year long. Courtney McFadden (Cycling NW) would take the initiative on the “Grim Reaper” run up on the first lap and left the rest of the field behind at that point. Following, but never able to make contact, was Jessica Cutler (Cucina Fresca) along with Mel Lewis (CycleU/PopCap). McFadden would go on to take top honors by well over a minute on Cutler and Lewis would come in another half minute behind her. McFadden now has a strong lead in the points series with Mafia Racing’s Natasha Hernday, a series rookie, in second followed by CycleU/PopCap’s Mel Lewis in third.