It may be August, but the men and women of cyclocross were at work during the Fields of Joy CX (FOJCX) UCI C2 weekend held in Essendon Fields outside Melbourne, Australia. The land of plenty provided plenty of great cyclocross races, with four different podium finishers in the four Elite races. No word on whether there were vegemite hand-ups and six-foot four Belgians full of muscles.
Emily Kachorek, Samantha Runnels and Anthony Clark of the Squid Bikes team made the stop in Melbourne en route to the Quiansen Cup in Beijing this coming weekend. Runnels was rewarded with a UCI win and Kachorek took home a second while Clark made the wide-angle podium both days.
The Fields of Joy CX park is a venue in the Essendon Fields suburb of Melbourne that was built specifically for cyclocross. With the success of the Fields of Joy CX park, other municipalities in Australia are looking to build similar venues as the sport expands Down Under.
Two weeks ago, we brought you a photo gallery from the Australian National Championships and Race 4 of the Australian National Cyclocross Series. This past weekend's races were races five and six of the six-race series that started in June. Mountain Bike Australia, which organizes the series, is looking at moving the series to the end of July and August to make it easier for international riders such as members of the Squid Bikes team to race ahead of the Quiansen Cup in China.
Day 1 of racing at Fields of Joy looked a lot like the Australian National Championships, with Peta Mullens outlasting the two Squid riders to win the Women's race and Chris "JBlood" Jongewaard outdueling Adrian Jackson to continue his perfect 2017 NCXS campaign. Day 2 changed things up, with Garry Millburn outdueling Jongewaard to take home the win in the Men's race and American Samantha Runnels of Squid Bikes outlasting Naomi Williams to win for the Women. Look for Millburn in Iowa City and Waterloo at the two U.S. World Cups that are fast approaching.
The Fields of Joy Instagram account caught a key moment in Sunday's duel between Millburn and Jongewaard.
Fields of Joy CX UCI Weekend Photo Gallery from Jeff Curtes
Jeff Curtes was at Fields of Joy to document all the action from both days of racing. Enjoy this photo Gallery from Jeff and look for him at the Jingle Cross and Waterloo World Cups where he might even do some racing himself.