by Bob Kuhn
Lock and Dam Park, Rome, GA — After a week of paralysis from 8” of snow, Georgians decided to take out their cabin fever frustrations at RWCX #2. With a new course layout to maximize flow and only one triple barrier dismount; racers would make the race hard as they rode through snow and eventually a muddy thaw.
Temperatures increased during the day and the course got muddier and muddier challenging every category. As bagpipes played and folks cheered, all racers had smiles on their faces seeing what many described as “real” ’cross conditions not seen in Georgia during most fall races. When a 12-year old junior comes up to you and says that the snow and mud were awesome and that they had “sooo much fun” in the race that is really all you need, isn’t it?Once again the Women’s 1/2/3 field continued to show up strong. With Kim Flynn winning her state title in Tennessee, the Georgia women would take over. In a tight early race, newcomer Megan Melgaard (ATS), Lisa Randall (Outspokin Bikes) and Kim Sawyer (Women’s Cycling Project) were off the front early. It was Melgaard who surprised Randall, a multi-state champion, in the slop by taking the win. This sets up next week’s state championship as the race to watch.
In the Men’s 1/2 race, a small but determined field got the worst conditions of the day. Normally the lines are carved at this point but now there was only a thick, cold pudding through which to race. Thomas Turner (Jamis) took the early lead and was well on his way to winning when he snapped his rear derailleur. Being just past the first pit, he had to run his bike half a lap to the second pit. Bob Kuhn’s (HUP United) reaction on hearing this on course was “Thomas is a two time top 15 finisher of La Ruta in Costa Rica where they have to run their bike a lot, it won’t make a difference.” It sure didn’t as Turner grabbed his spare bike and went on to win in classic style. Turner will be the one to beat for the men’s state title.
Next weekend is the last of the RWCX series races culminating in the Georgia State Championship’s. There are lots of great surprises left!