Toby Swanson showed his skills by hopping up 19 stairs © Kenton Berg

Toby Swanson showed his skills by hopping up 19 stairs © Kenton Berg

by Kenton Berg

The cyclocross season is underway here in Seattle as the traditional Labor Day race drew the racers to duke it out at North Seatac park. The turnout was stellar as racers from all categories were eager to put the knobbies to use and see if the gear was ready for another season of abuse. Overnight rain kept the dust down but didn’t quite produce the mud we would have liked. With temps in the high 50s to start the day, embrocation was on order, but by mid-afternoon riders were enjoying mid60s temps and short sleeves.

The hecklers were out and also starting to show some form as well – the small band of boisterous individuals was strategically placed at the bottom of the run up. Equipped with malted beverages and a bullhorn, the cheers, jeers and taunts came fast and furious from this crew. For those lucky enough, a stop on the stairs resulted in a beer hand up and some fuel for the next lap. Otherwise any slip or bobble resulted in an onslaught of laughter and verbal assaults via the bullhorn.

Ryan Iddings ready to hit the stairs with no one in sight behind him

Ryan Iddings ready to hit the stairs with no one in sight behind him

On the race front, Kari Studley (Redline) showed her good early season form in the Women’s Elite race and was able to distance herself from Kristi Berg (CycleU), who had to pit and change out a flat tire, to take the win.

Ryan Iddings (Redline) led the Men’s Elite race from start to finish and showed he will be a force to be dealt with this season. After streaking past Toby Swanson, who was on his mountain bike, on the long straightaway just 30 seconds into the race, Iddings put a gap on Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus) and wouldn’t relinquish the lead again. McDonald got within 12 seconds of Iddings, but that’s as close as it would get for the rest of the race.

Next week’s race goes down at Big Finn Hill park in Kirkland for the MFG series opener. Kick Off Cross presented by CycleU is sure to show a lot of action with a great course and the MFG promoters working to bring together a beer garden for the adults’ enjoyment. We’ll see if this duo from Redline can pull off another dual win. Tune in to cxmagazine.com for race results, pictures and video.

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