by Robert Grunau
EVERETT, Wash. – The rain and mud of last week gave way to a perfect indian summer day for race number three in the MFG Series held at Thorton A Sullivan Park in Everett, Washington. The venue was a last minute switch, after last week’s heavy rains made two days of racing in Bellingham unfeasible. The folks at MFG cyclocross put together a great course, which featured lots of climbing as well as two trips across the beach per lap.
The beach didn’t prove to be much of an impediment for Andi Zolton (JL Velo Ambassadors) who increased her points lead, easily defending the leader’s jersey she took over last week. Zolton used the starting climb to distance herself from the bunch, which quickly fractured over the hilly parcours which featured an abundance of slick roots, that caused crashes in the earlier fields. Over the course of the forty minuted race Zolton worked herself into significant lead, eventually finishing just over a minute ahead of her nearest competitor, Canadian Stacy Spensor (Phillips Brewing Company p/b Code Performance). Kristen Kelsey (Cycle U – POPCAP) once again found herself on the third step of the podium.
The men’s race was gruppo compacto for the opening laps before a small group featuring last week’s winner Steve Fisher (Raleigh – HIFI), Toby Swanson (Ravena Capital Management) and Carson Miller (Jamis CX). The three men traded blows for three quick laps before an attack from Fisher gave him a gap going into the course’s second sand pit. Swanson and Miller maintained a good chase, but Fisher’s acing of the sand sections, and his climbing prowess allowed him to increase his gap. Swanson then managed to distance himself from Miller, earning him the podium’s second step and Miller easily held on to third position.
The MFG series takes a break next week, but returns October 20th at Seattle’s Magnuson Park.