by Jared Roy
(IOWA CITY, IA) – The email from the race organizer I received on Tuesday said Iowa had received record rains, and judging by Friday night’s course conditions on Day 1 of the 2009 UCI Carousel Volkswagen Jingle Cross Rock, he wasn’t lying.
Mt Krumpet is the toughest part of the course, and on Day 1 it featured prominently in the race’s final outcome. The course scaled the mountain with via a very muddy run-up, and upon reaching the top, the riders with descending skills or courage were able to make the race.
The muddy, treacherous downhill took many victims throughout the evening’s races. Derailleurs were sheared off left and right and the pits were chaos.
The women’s race went off at 6:30 and the men’s at 7:30 and were run under the lights. The women’s race was dominated by Meredith Miller of the California Giant Strawberry team. She used her strong road skills to open up a gap early and held on to take a convincing win. The race for second was reminiscent of last weekend’s men’s race in Southampton with three teammates battling for the podium, only this time the team and gender were different with three Planet Bike teammates battling it out for the final two podium spots. On the last lap young Kaitie Antonneau got away and took the silver with Kristin Wentworth following in third and Linda Sone in fourth.
The Men’s race started with the Wells brothers Troy (Clif Bar) and Todd (Specialized) along with Seattle’s Ryan Iddings (Lapierre) taking early flyers. The attacks were short-lived though, as soon Todd Wells, using his superior descending skills, was gone. Nobody could match his speed on the muddy downhill. Troy Wells took chase but couldn’t close the 30 second gap to his older brother, and was hampered by a flat tire. The race for third turned into a battle with Iddings, Marco Lalonde (Planet Bike) and David Hackworthy (Bianchi / Grand Performance) all together until one lap to go. But it was Iddings’ determination that got him the third place, despite an ill-timed mechanical with two laps to go. Lalonde followed in fourth with Hackworthy in fifth. The pits were busy tonight with riders switching bikes almost every lap.