by Robert Grunau
A few days of the rains that Seattle is known for relented and gave way to near summer conditions for Sunday’s Magnuson Park CX, the fourth stop in the MFG series. 1,018 racers took to a course that started out wet, with patches of mud, that had mostly firmed up for the elite races in the afternoon. The predominately flat course took up a swath of Seattle’s enormous Warren G Magnuson park and featured a few technical bits in fields along Lake Washington.
The men’s race found a quick selection in the first lap, with Zach McDonald (KCCX), and the Raleigh/FSA duo of Steve Fisher and series leader Adam McGrath pulling away from the main group. The race quickly fractured into small chase groups that fought hard, but could never shrink the gap to the leaders.
Fisher and McGrath mostly sat on, letting McDonald lead through the course, and take the brunt of the head wind through a long paved uphill finish straight, though there were times—only after some conversation—where the Fisher and McGrath would take a turn at the front.
Fisher and McDonald dispatched McGrath in the final laps as the the now duo worked their way through lapped traffic. That continued till the charge to the line, where Fisher was able to put some distance into McDonald and came away with the race win.
The women’s race was also a hard fought affair, with Andi Zolton (Nemisis Racing) and Couer d’Alene, Idaho’s Jenni Gaertner (Vertical Earth) taking early control. The duo battled it out, with Gaertner setting the pace for a majority of the forty minutes.
The two women put on a good show for the spectators as they each took turns putting in digs in attempts to get a gap, but the two always stayed close. The race was decided at the line, with Gaertner taking the win by a wheel. Monica Lloyd, put in a strong ride and took the final podium spot, coming in some eighteen seconds behind Zolton and Gaertner.
The MFG series takes bi-week next Sunday, but returns on November 2nd for the SCCA/Starbucks Grand Prix at Marymoor Park where the category 1&2 men will finish under the lights.