Zach McDonald setting the pace © Janet Hill

Zach McDonald setting the pace © Janet Hill

by Leroi Smith

Kristi Berg (CycleU) and Zach McDonald (Rapha Focus) took slightly different paths to the same end — victory in the first Seattle Cyclocross (SCX) race of the season. The series got off to a fast start at one of the area’s favorite venues, Evergreen High School in Burien, WA. Hard rains overnight and into the morning could not dampen the spirit of the ’cross community; the fields were large and racers were excited to kick off another great year. The early rains slowed to a mist and the skies grew nearly bright enough to require sunglasses. The course ranged from sticky to slick; a few of the grassy off-camber sections got slick, but mostly the rain created a firm, tacky course. This was particularly true on the old cintrex running track that served as the start.In years past, this was a dusty, surprisingly tough section at speed, but a little water tamed it enough to let the riders through, mostly without mishaps. At the end of the track, riders had to hop the curb and plunge through a dip and into a section of grassy switchbacks. After popping up and dropping down a berm, racers swung around to approach the signature feature of the course – a leg-busting run-up that ended with a diabolical false flat. Oxygen deprived riders then tackled a couple more switchbacks and then the long, fast drop back down the hill. A short, steep climb signaled the entry into a long section of alternating high speed sweepers with tight off-camber bends generally working the hillside around a soccer field and baseball diamond. A set of double barriers interrupted the middle of this section. After rolling past the timing truck, a second set of barriers on a hill after an off-camber bend ended the twists and turns, depositing racers back onto the track — at speed — for another go-round.

The Elite Women took the start at 1:30, just after the Singlespeed class. They wasted no time climbing into the very large group in front of them. Kristi Berg (Cycle U) showed she was no stranger to working through traffic and Jadine Riley (Team Group Health) also sliced through the traffic early. Unfortunately an injury forced Riley to retire mid-race. Jo Markham (Olympia Orthopedic Associates) took up the reigns as lead chaser with Jodi Connolly (Blue Rooster) in third place. In the end (and middle and beginning) Berg was just too strong for her competition, riding away with the victory.

The Elite Men’s race took more time to sort out. Early on, Zach McDonald (Rapha Focus) and Logan Owen (Redline Bicycles) slipped off the front. Neither seemed to be fully putting the hammer down and eventually Aaron Bradford ( and Solomon Woras (Methow Cycle and Sport) bridged up. This group of four rode the middle of the race together. Approaching the last lap, McDonald seemed unwilling to leave it for a sprint. He attacked the group, breaking it apart. Owen and the rest were unable to stay with the surge and McDonald, the current collegiate national champion, soloed in for the victory. Owen held on for second and Bradford rounded out the podium.

The SCX series takes a break next week. October 10th marks the return to Beverly Park Elementary. SCX is sponsored by New Belgium Brewing, FSA, Redline Bicycles, Thule, Northwave and Bob’s Red Mill. Full results below!

Janet Hill’s Photo Gallery

Kenton Berg’s Photo Gallery

Elite Men’s Results:

Todays Place Bib Men 1/2 Name Time Total Laps Avg. Lap Time
1 117 Men 1/2 McDonald Zack Rapha Focos 0:57:17.9 8 0:07:09.7
2 107 Men 1/2 Owen Logan Redline 0:57:29.8 8 0:07:11.2
3 116 Men 1/2 Bradford Aaron Aaron Bradford 0:57:41.8 8 0:07:12.7
4 109 Men 1/2 Woras Solomon Methow cycle and sport 0:57:54.2 8 0:07:14.3
5 112 Men 1/2 Loren Hanson 0:58:52.2 8 0:07:21.5
6 101 Men 1/2 Flack John-Christian Olympia Orthopaedic Associates 0:59:04.6 8 0:07:23.1
7 103 Men 1/2 Hulit Carl Recycled Cycles 0:59:36.8 8 0:07:27.1
8 111 Men 1/2 Fusaro Michael Cycling Northwest 1:00:02.4 8 0:07:30.3
9 106 Men 1/2 mickels aaron Cycling Northwest 1:00:13.3 8 0:07:31.7
10 120 Men 1/2 Swanson Toby Bro Tour 1:00:31.5 8 0:07:33.9
11 119 Men 1/2 Simpson Cody Woodinville Bicycle 1:00:50.5 8 0:07:36.3
12 114 Men 1/2 Hill Chris Cucina Fresca 1:00:51.5 8 0:07:36.4
13 115 Men 1/2 McGilvray Kyle OTB State Farm 1:01:18.7 8 0:07:39.8
14 110 Men 1/2 Anderson Jeff Stanley 1:02:45.6 8 0:07:50.7
15 108 Men 1/2 Pease Michael Bicycle Centres/Collision One 1:03:02.9 8 0:07:52.9
16 100 Men 1/2 Erickson Landon Team Stanley 1:03:40.2 8 0:07:57.5
17 118 Men 1/2 Bott Randy Cucina Fresca 1:03:54.5 8 0:07:59.3
18 105 Men 1/2 Mensher Ian Keller Rohrback Cycling Team 1:05:55.3 8 0:08:14.4
19 113 Men 1/2 Wilson Alex Recycled Cycles 0:57:47.3 7 0:08:15.3
20 102 Men 1/2 Hill Chris 0:00:00.0 0 DNF/DNS?
20 104 Men 1/2 Iddings Ryan Redline 0:00:00.0 0 DNF/DNS?

Elite Women’s Results:

Todays Place Bib Women1/2 Name Team Time Total Laps Avg. Lap Time
1 300 Women1/2 Berg Kristi Cycle University 0:48:22.7 6 0:08:03.8
2 304 Women1/2 Markham Jo OOA 0:49:41.4 6 0:08:16.9
3 301 Women1/2 Connolly Jodi Blue Rooster / Sports Medicine Clinic 0:50:27.4 6 0:08:24.6
4 303 Women1/2 Kelsey Kristen Buy Local Cycling 0:51:32.5 6 0:08:35.4
5 307 Women1/2 Smith Lee Team Group Health 0:43:05.9 5 0:08:37.2
6 302 Women1/2 Era-Miller Brandee Olympia Orthopaedic Associates 0:43:28.3 5 0:08:41.7
7 305 Women1/2 Mysliwiec Angela Old Town Bicycle p/b State Farm 0:43:57.3 4 0:10:59.3
8 306 Women1/2 Riley Jadine 0:00:00.0 0 DNF/DNS?
8 308 Women1/2 Love Anne 0:00:00.0 0 DNF/DNS?