November 2, 2009 – Miamiville, OH, USA: Bob’s Red Mill racers Mitch Kersting and Anna Jean Dallaire won the Elite Men’s and Women’s Races at the increasingly popular Gun Club Cross on Sunday. The ninth race of the 2009 Zipp OVCX Tour saw a 50% increase of entries over last year.
This year, riders found a tougher, more technical course, a red-coated bugler to accompany the now-familiar shotgun starts and a drummer in the horseshoe section. Yes, a drummer. The family-reunion-meets-bike-racing festival feel that is a hallmark of this race was on display, with music, great food, and plenty of humorous commentary. In keeping with this lighthearted spirit, race organizers waived entry fees for anyone with the name of “Clay”, “Pigeon”, or “Gun” – which was enough to attract former pro rider Gunnar Shogren (and his wife, current Pro Betsy Shogren). Gunnar finished second in the Elite Masters race behind Calistoga’s Michael McShane. Betsy (Cannondale Factory Team/Backyard Bike Club), a three-time MAC champion, had to settle for fourth in the Elite Women’s race behind Dallaire, Amanda McKay (BioWheels/Reece-Campbell Racing) and Nicole Borem (DRT Racing).
An amazing amount of mud and treacherous uphill sections kept lap times in the 9-11 minute range, with many riders getting a lot of running in. Luckily the course is also known for its comfortable hunting lodge, complete with a roaring fire and real bathrooms with showers. The power-washer was especially popular this year, with more than a few racers stopping in the pits to clear gobs of sticky mud from their bikes. Shoes, well, that was another story.
Riders also had to contend with the will-sapping smell of meat cooking on an immense outdoor wood-burning grill, which was again mastered by Earl who claims the event as his favorite.
The mud did nothing to diminish the festival atmosphere among the more than 460 people in attendance, and racers enjoyed a spirited mix of cowbells and cheers throughout the day.
Located in an unspoiled 240-acre valley just northeast of Cincinnati, the 60-year old Sycamore Pheasant Gun Club made for another great day of cyclocross racing in Ohio.