The start of Labor Day Cyclocross. Joey Mullan

The start of Labor Day Cyclocross.

by Joey Mullan

The first race in Washington state is always one to attend, especially when it’s on Labor day weekend. Top riders, old friends and a whole slew of cheers and jeers were happily reunited. Presented by Team Double check, the Labor Day cyclocross race was a success in drawing in riders from all over including Nick Weighall and David Richter. Raleigh’s new addition, Jenni Gaertner of Raleigh USA even came out to throw down with an impressive win since her contract at Raleigh’s Midsummers Race. Located at a new venue, “The Pit” (Lloyd Enterprises Retail Yard) in Milton, Washington, this gravel pit was converted into an abusive cyclocross course that tested the skills and hydration of many.

With the odd weather, the Northwest has had lately, the course had been sun-beaten and packed down. This left a plethora of potholes and dry, lifeless grass to zap riders of all energy lap after lap. File treads couldn’t even help you on this course, a hill side of off camber corners paired with slick, dead grass resulted in a lot of unplanned follies in all categories. Highs in the 70’s and not a cloud in the sky, hand-ups were common to see at all areas of the course. With the new addition of a beer garden, many found themselves sipping at their “barley pop” and shouting in the shade.

In the women’s elite race, Jenni Gaertner of Raleigh USA had a solid start and an even more impressive finish taking the gold by almost 50 seconds. In the men’s elite category, a dust cloud of fast competitors left many gasping for a fresh breath of air. It was David Rickter of HSP with the whole shot, followed quickly by Nick Weighall of CalGiant. They were showing their suffer faces that day in the hot heat and dusty conditions.

Weighall flatted in the rear halfway through the race, but Rickter quickly bridged that gap and held his own for the last of it all to claim victory by nearly half a minute. Weighall though never gave up after his mechanical. Masters Men 1/2 35+ rider Todd Morse Tucker said, “… he [Weighall] passed me after he flatted. I hung with him for a couple corners and he was motoring away from me.”

Overall, many riders came away knowing how they size up in comparison to the competition and maybe a sunburn. It was nothing but suffer faces followed by post race smiles and water (and an excuse to race on a Monday).

Full results can be found here.

Men’s Elite:

1. David Rickter HSP 0:47:08.6

2. Nicholas Weighall Calgiant 0:47:35.1

3. Benji Perin Second Ascent 0:49:20.9

Women’s Elite

1. Jenni Gaertner Raleigh USA 0:36:34.4

2. Beth Lyndon-Griffith Recycled Cycles 0:37:22.2

3. Kristi Berg Cycle U-Popcap 0:38.40.7