by Robert Grunau
(Everett, WA) – Throton A Sulivan Park played host to the fourth stop on last year’s MFG Cyclocross Series. The venue change was a last minute one, done after heavy rains made a joint venture with the Cascade Cross series in Bellingham impossible (the impact of nearly a thousand people and two days of racing would have been too high). This year however was a different story.
This time 870 racers made the trek north from Seattle for what is the third stop on the 2014 MFG calendar. A race dubbed “The Super Duper,” named in honor the on-the-field exploits of Mark Duper, a wider receiver with the Miami Dolphins from 1982 – 1992. The course featured plenty of short punchy climbs, fast and lose off-camber descents, a two stepped run up, that only the fittest (or those best at finding good traction) could ride, fun single track, and the return of the double beach.
Last year’s women’s series winner, Kristen Kelsey (AXIOMHVAC-Voler-Cycle U), who won through six consistent performances but never found the top step of the podium, took control of this year’s race from Andi Zolton (Nemisis Racing) on the second lap on a long paved climb. Kelsey attacked on a paved climb expecting Zolton to hold her wheel. The course’s technical nature worked against those in the position of chase, allowing Kelsey to reach the podium’s top step with a fifty-six second advantage. Recent Chicago transplant Trica Fleischer (ABD Racing) finished off the podium some twenty-seconds behind Andi Zolton.
The men’s race played out in contrast to last week’s race, where a flat fast course allowed a group of six to control the entire race. This week a small group hung together for the first two laps, with Raleigh-FSA teammates Adam McGrath and Steve Fisher leading the charge. Fisher soon broke away from his teammate and a main chase group that included last year’s main instigators Russell Stevenson (Trek Collective) and Toby Swanson (Ravenna Capitol Management) who missed the first two series stops. Fisher took the win with a forty-five second advantage over Swanson, with Adam McGrath taking third. Special shout out to Scott Funston (Rad Racing NW), who at the age fifteen finished fifth, less than a minute behind the Fisher.
The MFG Series returns on October 19th for its fourth of six stops at Magnuson Park in Seattle.