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Race Report Hardcastle Photography
Yesterday's Boulder Racing Cyclocross #2 of the series was a biggie. Big course - big fields - big crowds! Picture a 120 person field coming into the sand and barriers - unbelievable. To say the sport of cyclocross is growing quickly would be, well, obvious. The very full fields of men, women and juniors raced through the campus of Interlocken in Broomfield, Colorado on a near perfect, breezy fall day. Complete with a sand section that doubled back between steep hill runs (or rides for some), a chance for rest on a couple short sidewalk sections, long stretches of wet and dry grass, a bridge over a creek (how Belgian), and a well-placed barrier section nearing the finish made this course spectator and racer friendly.
The women's field consisted of 33 starters and was contested by a few familiar faces. Lisa Strong (Hudz-Subaru) took the win to follow up strongly on a pair of 2nd places in Frisco last weekend and another 2nd at the first Boulder CX race. She was chased by Sara Tarkington (Unattached, 2nd) and Ann Trombley (Tokyo Joe's, 3rd). Lisa leads the Boulder CX series with a close second between Ann Trombley (two third place finishes) and Nicole Duke (1st place Boulder CX #1, no result for BCX #2).
Never a dull moment, the men's open race saw 62 starters fly down the wide grass start to take a left bend underneath the non-UCI legal inflatable start/finish arch (which was awesome, nice touch Boulder Racing!). From there a group of 5 leaders shook out from the field towards the middle of the first lap, consisting of Pete Webber (Boulder Cycle Sport), Matt Pacocha (Hudz/Subaru), Allen Krughoff (Boulder Cycle Sport), Brandon Dwight (Boulder Cycle Sport) and Yannick Eckman (Hot Tubes). A tricky right hand turn on sidewalk in the backside of the course claimed some skin as riders pushed the envelope of traction on knobby tires. The group of leaders continued to ride consistently together for the majority of the race as they pulled away from the field.
Nearing 4 laps to go, the action picked up a bit. Krughoff put in a short-lived attack to test the group on the grass stretch after the canal bridge and drew Eckman out of the group, which killed the impetus to continue. Dwight was charging up for a counter attack but his line was pinched against the chain-link fence on the south of the course, allowing an opening on the right for Pacocha to attack. Pacocha got a small gap on the group of about 3-4 seconds and was caught by Eckman first, but was eventually reeled in before the start finish by the Boulder Cycle Sport trio. Webber went to the front underneath the inflatable arch with 2 laps to go until he lost his purchase on the slick left turn onto grass coming into the first barrier and runup section. This put him slightly behind the other 4 as the pace quickened. Eckman put in an attack towards the end of 2 laps to go and was followed by Dwight. Pacocha led the chase to the front two, with Krughoff in tow.
Coming through the to hear the bell lap, Eckman had an approximate 5 second lead on Dwight, with another 5 seconds to the duo of Pacocha and Krughoff. As Pacocha and Krughoff came out of the sand into the steep, mud/grass hill that the leaders had been riding most of the race, lapped traffic tried to move left out of the way which unfortunately happened to be the now only ride-able line up on fresh grass. Pacocha and Krughoff were stopped up against the caution tape and had to dismount with Krughoff sprinting out of the jam and onto his bike. This setup a gap which grew as the lap progressed.
Dwight chasing Eckman throughout the final lap and closing down Eckman's lead by the second, the two came together slightly before the barriers leading into the grass loops before the finish. Eckman bunny hopped the barriers as Dwight ran and used the opportunity to sprint out in front of Dwight. With roughly 1/2 a kilometer of grass remaining to the finish, Eckman held off the hard charging Dwight to take the victory. Dwight was followed by Krughoff at 5 seconds with Pacocha and Webber coming bringing in the end of the lead group in that order.
Top five for the Men's and Women's Open categories:
1) Yannick Eckmann - Hot Tubes Dev. Cycling Team
2) Brandon Dwight - Boulder Cycle Sport
3) Allen Krughoff - Boulder Cycle Sport
4) Matthew Pacocha - Hudz-Subaru Cycling Team
5) Peter Webber - Boulder Cycle Sport
1) Lisa Strong - Hudz-Subaru Cycling Team
2) Sara Tarkington
3) Ann Trombley - Tokyo Joe's
4) Judy Freeman
5) Jane Finsterwald - ColoBikeLaw.com
The next race in the series is Saturday, Oct 24th at Louisville Rec Center.