By Robert Grunau
UCI level racing returned the Pacific Northwest on Saturday with day one of the Subaru Cyclo Cup, held at Ft. Steilacoom Park in Lakewood Washington. The venue has hosted many races over the years, including day two of last year’s Waves for Water Collaboration weekend. This year’s course differed in two key ways. The first was a steep muddy run up, instead of last year’s leg busting paved and gravel climb. The second was the inclusion of a sand pit located in the venue’s infield, which was brought in specifically for the event.
Throughout the day racers were deluged with rain, making some sections of the course slick and coating others in a thick mud—ideal cyclocross conditions to put it more bluntly. The conditions made for ideal spectating, especially at the run up, where the crowd’s cheers could be heard from a distance, and where dollars bills, and a few unopened cans of beer could be found for hand ups.
Logan Owen (California Giant/ Specialized) took control of the men’s race from the drop of the flag, hoping to do better than last year, when he came up empty handed on both days. This year the youngster quickly distanced himself from the pack of Elite racers and worked himself into a comfortable lead.
Raleigh-Clement’s Jamey Driscoll mounted a chase, and for a majority of the race he was able to keep Owen within his sights. Jonathan Page (Page/Fuji) followed after Driscoll, but the elder statesman of American cyclocross was unable to catch Owen’s pursuer. After an hour and two minutes of racing, it was Owen who took the win, with Driscoll twenty-seven seconds in arrears. Page finished off the podium, coming in less than thirty seconds behind Driscoll.
“It was nice to get my first two UCI wins in a year, with my Tour of Utah win earlier this year, and then today in front of a home crowd, it’s exciting.” The twenty year old said.
In the women’s field it was Luna Pro Team’s Katerina Nash who took control of the race. The field had come into the first run up bunched together, but from there the gaps the just went out, spreading the field along the course. Nash rode a clean race and that kept Caroline Mani (Raleigh/Clement) who, despite a lingering sickness, had set a solo chase. Behind her was the Canadian national champion Mical Dyck (Naked Factory Racing). However, Nash’s lead, was a dominant one, she would cross the line first with thirty seconds in hand. Mani found her way onto the second step, while Dyck followed a minute behind in third.
Derek Blagg was on hand to get photos of the action—use the slider to take a look, and keep an eye out for our day two write-up and photo gallery on cxmagazine.com.