Despite what the calendar says, summer is hanging on tight in the Northwest, and this past Sunday a mass of racers returned to King County’s Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington. Many laps were turned in and around The Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome for the second stop of the 2016 MFG Series. Racers took to a dusty course riddled with potholes. The dust and bumps were evident on the racers sweat soaked bodies, dirt smeared faces and blistered hands. The harsh conditions also caused more than a few race defining crashes.
In the women’s race, a recently “retired” Jess Cutler (she raced Wednesday’s Cross Vegas World Cup race) put her wheels to the line along with series leader Tricia Fleischer (Monument Wheel Works) and 13 other women. Fleischer took the early lead, with Cutler—who was representing her newly formed NWCX Project—close on her wheel. The two women quickly worked a big gap over their pursuers. “I only pre-rode half the course, so I let Tricia set the pace and I planned to attack on the third lap.” Cutler said. She was handed her opportunity when Fleischer crashed as the pair went into the course’s long start/ finish straight. “I was playing dare with the tape a little too much,” Fleischer explained. She hit her head, keeping her on the ground for close to a minute. She eventually got up, kept riding and managed to keep her two chasers (Cutler’s teammate/protégé Shannon Mallory and Bicycle Center’s Hillary King) at bay to finish second. King bested Mallory to land on the final step of the podium.
In the men’s race it was series leader Stephen Ettinger (Ride biker Alliance p/b Focus) and Hector Fernando Riveros (Qarvi Imports/Raleigh Bikes) who got the jump on their competitors. The pair got away early, leaving Trek CXC rider Russel Stevenson to chase. Ettinger led Riveros through the technical course, weaving a serpentine path through and around the velodrome. Soon, Riveros would bobble and Ettinger would take the opportunity to attack. Ettinger crossed the line with just under a minute in hand over Riveros to win his second series race in a row, after winning Race #1 in Lake Sammamish. Joseph Maloney of B&L Bicycle/Trek finished third on the day.
This week, those hearty enough to race the early slot received “The Treatment” (along with those who landed on the podium) going home with prizes for their efforts. The winner of the men’s Cat 4 race was William Courtney with Ricky Lyman and Adrian Magun finishing second and third, respectively. In the men’s Cat 4 35 + race, it was Christopher Nelson who finished on top and Thomas Horan (Mcleod Construction/ Snohomish Bike Racing) and Damon Gjording finishing second and third. The men’s 55+ podium from first to third was Paul Lastayo (Kuhl), Roy Colven and Taco Time’s Rodney Brandon.
Next week MFG Cyclocross returns to Silver Lake Park in Everett for the Kate Blincoe Prestige. The race honors Blincoe, who was a Pacific Northwest powerhouse and won the Super Cup – the U.S.’ first national cyclocross series. The 11:10am races will receive “The Treatment” with prizes going to the top three in each category.