by Kenton Berg
Another beautiful indian summer day graced the shores of Lake Sammamish as the second installment of the MFG Cyclocross Series took to one of the more scenic venues on the schedule. The park, nestled on the southern shore of the lake, offered up a straight forward and high speed affair. Long, fast sections were intertwined with swooping turns. This lead to wide open racing where fields were blown apart from the start. Factoring in, as always, was the long beach run which further spread racers out and by lap two had announcers declaring that racers were “scattered all over the park.”. For those whose running skills were on par, the 80 meter beach run was just another obstacle, for others, it was lap after lap of torture delivered in a serene setting.
The Elite Women got down to business not too long after the sun crested the tree line and the heat increased. Coming out blazing was fast was Courtenay McFadden (Voler/Bicycle Center), fresh off a solid 16th place at Cross Vegas, who took the hole shot in front of Kari Studley (Redline) and never let go of that first position. Studley, who just started her 2012 campaign today, rode solid but lacked the high end intensity shown by McFadden. When asked about her late start to the season Studley responded by saying ” it’s a long season, my season runs into January, so I’m not looking to be out here flying like Courtenay or others at this point. I’m looking for that down the road.” Studley managed to hold McFadden’s leading gap to just over a minute while Emily Eggers (Blue Rooster) had a very strong ride to take the third step on the podium. In post-race comments McFadden noted that “the only thing that was going to keep me from winning was a mechanical or the guy I had to dodge who crashed (joey’d) the barriers (which was yours truly), otherwise I felt great!”
The Elite men sent a strong local field to the line and they hit it hard from the gun. Steve Fisher (Hagens Berman), Adam McGrath (Hagens Berman) and Gian Dalle (Don Walker) would get a gap over the field inside of the first lap and begin to ride away. The chase group, consisting of Carson Miller (HSP), Brandon Wodtli, John-Christian Flack (Olympia Orthopedic Assoc), Eric Emsky (CyclocrossRacing.Com), and Kyle McGilvray (OldTownBicycle) would hang on with a 20 second gap that would eventually widen when the group exploded. Mid way thru the 60 minute event Dalle would have a mechanical and would have to let the two Hagens Berman riders slip away to contest the win. Coming on strong behind them Miller and Wodtli would begin to pull back some time late into the race but could never bridge the gap. After the last time down the beach it was clear a Hagens Berman rider would win, it was just a matter of which one. With a late burst Fisher managed to gap McGrath and would take the win in his first MFG race of the year. McGrath would come in 12 seconds behind and then Miller would pip Wodtli to claim the third podium step.
The MFG Cyclocross Series takes a week off before moving to the north end of the lake and the Marymoor Velodrome for StarCrossed on October 6th. For full results visit www.mfgcyclocross.com