Report written by John Osgood
The Michigan Cyclocross series officially kicked off the first Saturday of September with the inaugural Alma Grand Prix of Cyclocross presented by Eclipse Cycling. The race turned out to be a hit with a very bright future as over 200 racers came out to the event. In the spring of 2014, the City of Alma pledged their full support behind Brian Hancock’s vision of turning a former small town city airport into one of the largest cyclocross races in the state! With lots of work from volunteers, the City of Alma, and many local sponsors such as Alma Brewing Company, Alma College, and Tailwind Racing LLC, the event turned out to be a huge hit amongst both racers and the local community.
The course tested racers’ skills and technique through grassy meadows, two small wooded “Super Prestige” sections, the Velocity USA staircase, and several small whoop-de-do’s over compost rows from days gone by.
In the Elite Men’s race, some of the Midwest’s finest went head to head on what was a beautiful, but warm, Saturday afternoon. Leading the charge and maintaining a commanding lead throughout the race was Adam York for the win. Former Masters National Champion Jeff Weinert rolled across next, followed by teammate Tom Burke, rounding out the podium for a Cyclocross Network Racing team sweep of the top three spots.
The Elite Women’s race saw a very deep and talented field. Leading the way was Canadian Kim Chapman of the Algoma Bicycle Company, followed by Amanda Schaap of Speed Merchants, with Gaberiella Sterne (Racing Greyhounds) hot on her heals. Due in part to the purse and to the new venue, this field was one of the most competitive women’s fields to toe the line in Michigan.
In the Men’s Elite Masters 35+ race Brad Lako (KLM/Cold Stone) took the win in a close wheel-to-wheel battle with John Osgood (Team Sandbag) for 2nd. Simon Bailey (AAVC/Two Wheel Tango) took home the 3rd spot.
The Elite Masters 45+ race was just a furious with Jeff Wittbrodt (Team Specialized) taking 1st, Patrick Russell (Wolverine Sports Club) taking 2nd, and Brian Harville (Flying Rhino Cycling Club) rounding out the podium in 3rd.
In one of the most entertaining races to watch on Saturday, Collin Snyder (MYC Racing), took home a brand new set of singlespeed-specific Velocity USA Major Tom wheels for his win in the singlespeed event. Snyder repeatedly got rad over one of the whoops right near the race announcer, Cody Sovis, much to the crowd’s enjoyment. Patrick Russell (Wolverine Sports Club) and Andy Fedewa (Flying Rhino Cycling Club) took 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
For full race results: tailwind-racing.com
For the complete Tailwind Racing LLC Cyclocross Series Race Calendar: tailwind-racing.com/calendar
Follow the Alma Grand Prix of Facebook for the latest news and information: https://www.facebook.com/#!/AlmaGrandPrixOfCyclocross