2011 Morgul Bismark Race

Photos

Videos

Day 1 - Criterium

Superior Morgul Classic Summit Criterium
Pro 1-2 Men, 75 Minutes
1. Josh Yeaton / Horizon Organic-Panache
2. Keith Harper / Juwi Solar-First Solar
3. Scott Moninger / Horizon Organic-Panache
4. Alex Welch / Horizon Organic-Panache
5. Garret Suydam / Big Ring U-25

Pro 1-2 Women, 50 Minutes
1. Megan Hottman / Primal-MapMyRide
2. Casey Clark / Primal-MapMyRide
3. Catherine Johnson / Big Ring Cycles
4. Cari Higgins / Peanut Butter & Co-Twenty 12
5. Beth Fisk / Natural Grocers

Day 2 - Road Race (The Morgul Course)

Pro 1-2 Men, 80 miles
1. Nathan Wilson, California Giant-Specialized, 3:30:43
2. Austin Allison, Horizon Organic-Panache, at 0:26
3. Josh Yeaton, Horizon Organic-Panache, at 2:22
4. Craig Magee, Unattached, at 2:26
5. Jon Tarkington, Natural Grocers, at 2:40

Pro 1-2 Women, 53 miles
1. Kasey Clark, Primal-MapMyRide, 2:42:17
2. Catherine Johnson, Big Ring Cycles, at 0:13
3. Gwen Inglis, Primal-MapMyRide, at 0:27
4. Megan Hottman, Primal-MapMyRide, at 5:16
5. Joan Orgeldinger, Tribella Race Team, at 5:23


Day 1, Criterium

SUPERIOR, COLORADO, May 28, 2011 — Solid teamwork and cunning strategy were the difference makers for the winners of the pro men’s and pro women’s Summit Criterium on day one of the two-day Superior Morgul Classic bike race on Saturday in Superior, Colorado.

The men’s 75-minute affair was dominated by the Boulder-based Horizon Organic-Panache team, which slotted three riders in the decisive six-man breakaway, including eventual race winner Josh Yeaton.

The women’s race was also a numbers game, with Primal-MapMyRide teammates Megan Hottman and Casey Clark accounting for two-thirds of the winning move, along with Catherine Johnson (Big Ring Cycles). Hottman broke away with five laps to go in the 50-minute race, taking the win. Clark was next across, with Johnson settling for the third step of the podium.

“Once the break formed we knew we were in a good position,” said Hottman, 32, a lawyer who focuses on cycling-related litigation when she’s not racing bikes. “We were getting splits and the gap went from 30 seconds ahead, to 30 seconds from lapping the field. That was all we needed to hear.”

Indeed, once it became clear there was no threats coming from the bunch behind, Hottman and Clark started teeing off on Johnson, attacking and counter-attacking. Johnson fought back gamely, but the pressure was too much on the rolling Town of Superior circuit that included a punchy climb up through the start finish line.

Hottman took off with five to go and never looked back.
“We live in Golden and used to drive to Durango for the Iron Horse, but the travel was no fun,” said Hottman, praising the second-year Superior Morgul Classic. “When this event popped up last year we were so excited because it’s right up the road, and it’s great for the local cycling community.”

No doubt the Horizon Organic-Panache team concurred. The regional development team led by former Olympian Colby Pearce place five riders in the top 12 of a 54-rider field, led by Yeaton, a 21-year-old University of Colorado-Boulder undergrad originally from Anchorage, Alaska.

Yeaton and teammates Scott Moninger and Alex Welch stacked the decisive break that also included Keith Harper (Juwi Solar-First Solar), Garret Suydam (Big Ring U-25) and Russell Harding (Natural Grocers).

After working together through the mid-portions of the race to assure they wouldn’t be brought back, the six escapees started the cat-and-mouse games. Harper was the most aggressive, taking off with Yeaton on his wheel early in the last lap. But Moninger bridged across, setting up an unbeatable 2-on-1 during the dash to the line.

“I got off the front with Harper, but I didn’t work because I had teammates behind,” explained Yeaton, who also rides for the CU cycling team which is coached by Pearce. “I waited, Scott bridged, and then he led me out. I took off at 200 meters and it worked out perfectly.”

Harper, 42, a website designer, held on for second, with Moninger trailing home in third, his mind now focused on the event’s bigger prizes, the Morgul Bismarck Road Race and the event’s overall Omnium title. Overall the race offers a $25,000 prize purse distributed between pros and amateurs.

“Our team goal today was to score points toward the omnium,” said Moninger, 44, a much-decorated high-level professional for two decades who has now transitioned into a mentor role with his new team. “The team is in a great position for the overall now and we have a lot of bodies. But going up the wall it’s whatever you have in the tank.”

Racing at the Superior Morgul Classic continues Sunday with the Morgul Bismarck Road Race. Amateurs and pros will take on the famed 13.5-mile loop with 750 feet of vertical gain per lap. Pro men will do 6 laps starting at 11:20 a.m. The top women will tackle the circuit 4 times starting at 12:36 p.m.

The Superior Morgul Classic is a second-year event that brought cycling back to the famed Morgul Bismarck circuit, which featured prominently in the Coors Classic, and was the primary setting for the cult-classic Kevin Costner cycling movie, American Flyers.

Always a popular training route with Colorado’s large cycling community, the Morgul Bismarck has been brought back into the racing fold. Overall the Superior Morgul Classic offers $25,000 in cash and prizes distributed between pros and amateurs. The event is further bolstered by a bounty of racer perks, including two free beers for everyone (of legal age) who races. For more info visit: http://www.superiormorgulclassic.com/

Day 2 - The Morgul Road Race

BREAKAWAYS DOMINATE MORGUL BISMARCK ROAD RACE
SUPERIOR, COLORADO, May 29, 2011 — A pair of long breakaways dominated the pro men’s and women’s Morgul Bismarck road races Sunday in Superior, Colorado.

Top beneficiaries of all the time off the front were Nathan Wilson (California Giant-Specialized) and Kasey Clark (Primal-MapMyRide), who each scored wins on the infamous 13.3-mile circuit made famous as a centerpiece of the famed Coors Classic race of the 1980s.

Clark also locked up the two-day event’s overall women’s omnium prize, adding Sunday’s win to a second-place effort in Saturday’s Summit Criterium.

The men’s omnium crown went to Josh Yeaton (Horizon Organic-Panache), who took third in the road race a day after winning the criterium. Both Clark and Yeaton also anchored team omnium titles for their respective squads.

“We won just about everything,” said Clark, 25, who works at a bike shop when not racing bikes. “Today was consistently hard. There weren’t a lot of attacks. It was just steady all day. I got to sit in a lot because [teammate] Gwen [Inglis] did a lot of the work in the break.”

Indeed, with Inglis and eventual second-place finisher Catherine Johnson (Big Ring Cycles) taking turns pulling the break, Clark was able to save matches for the last trip up the infamous Wall, a short, but punchy 12-percent climb that concluded each of the 53-mile race’s four laps.

Clark took off at the base and easily unhitched Johnson, who ceded 13 seconds by the finish. Inglis was 27 seconds back, with Summit Criterium winner and fellow Primal-MapMyRide rider Megan Hottman leading a shattered bunch across five minutes later.

“Kasey punched it on the wall and that was it,” said Johnson, 34, a graphic designer and sales rep. “I still had a great time. I live in Boulder and I went to CU, so it’s great to be out here on my bike on this amazing day with amazing scenery. It’s a classic race.”

The men’s endgame came one climb earlier, on what’s locally known as the Hump. About halfway up, Wilson rose out of the saddle, quickly putting a 7-second gap into heretofore breakaway ally Austin Allison (Horizon Organic-Panache). The 20-year-old Allison was clearly smoked from the long day off the front, and did little to fight back, eventually settling for second, 26 second behind Wilson.

Yeaton led a fractured bunch across nearly two and a half minutes later.

“I’d been battling cramps the last two laps,” said Allison, who’s originally from St. Louis, but now lives in Colorado Springs. “I was expecting the attack when it came, but he just hit it and I didn’t react quick enough and I couldn’t close it.”

Wilson was just trying to avoid having the 83-mile race come down to a two-man sprint.

“Austin looked strong all day and my sprint is so bad that I figured I should give a try early and at least if I couldn’t get rid of him he’d be a little more tired for the sprint,” said Wilson.

Allison was surprised that the break stayed away in the first place.

“The team plan was I was supposed to get in the early break and wait for the GC guys to come across and then help them,” he explained. “But the gap just exploded upward so I realized it wasn’t coming back and I started pulling through.”

Behind the break, the bunch was content to duke it out for the omnium title, which was based on points, not time.

“We didn’t need to chase because Wilson didn’t race the criterium, so he didn’t have any points coming in. So it became a race for third,” said Yeaton. “We just had to keep our eyes on Keith [Harper] and Russell [Harding] because they scored good points in the criterium. Harper tried to go a few times, but we had enough guys to mark him. It was a great weekend for the team.”

The Superior Morgul Classic is a second-year event that brought top-level bike racing back to the famed Morgul Bismarck circuit, which featured prominently in the Coors Classic, and was the primary setting for the cult-classic Kevin Costner cycling movie, American Flyers. Overall the Superior Morgul Classic doled out $25,000 in cash and prizes distributed between pros and amateurs.


For the second year in a row the 2011 Superior Morgul Classic Weekend takes place in the Town of Superior, Colorado this Memorial Day weekend, May 28 and 29. The event includes the Summit Criterium and the Morgul Bismarck road race. The weekend will culminate on Sunday with a concert and celebration just after the road race in Superior’s Community Park. The prize purse exceeds $20,000 in cash and prizes and includes an omnium (overall) classification for individuals and teams

The Summit Criterium on Saturday will remain on the same course as last year. The “L” shaped, 5 corner course features a wide start/finish stretch, an uphill, narrow alleyways with the a slightly uphill sprint. Last year, many riders underestimated the total elevation gain during the race, so we’ll be sure to see more competitive sprints this time around. Once again the 1 lap Cruiser Crit will take place at noon immediately following the under 8, kids race.

Bringing back the Morgul course last year was a herculean effort, but considering there were close to 700 racers and a minimal affect on traffic, it was a by all indications a success. The 13.3 mile loop always has wind and gains 1,200 ft per lap. The finish is on the top of the ‘Wall’, a brutally steep leg burner. The feedzone will be relocated to McCaslin Blvd for safety reasons. More festivities will take place on the Wall and at the finish including a beer garden.

The Town of Superior and Chamber were thrilled after last year’s successful event and are fully committed to continuing this new tradition. Their goal is to provide the best road racing experience in Colorado. When you look at their courses and all the other perks including the disco racer’s tent, they’re well on their way.

The weekend event is sanctioned under the American Cycling Association (ACA) and will utilize chip timing for results. It will have the following designations, an ACA Bar/Bat series race with an Omnium designation, a Tour of Colorado event and a PreRace.com Cup race. Race information can be found at www.SuperiorMorgul Classic.com.

Racing: 

41 Comments

Dear Promoters

Thank you for all of your hard work in putting bike races together. In the future if you continue to combine sm3 and 35/3 into one massive field, I will be skipping your race. Thanks again.

Many crits separate these

Many crits separate these two crowded categories. I'm not going to pour over the numbers. Take a look at Louisville, Prospect, NBoulder, etc.

Really I'm not complaining and do appreciate the hard work you guys do. But 100 person crits are no fun and I won't be doing them anymore.

100 rider fields

Back before Colorado racers developed the idea of everyone is special categories like 35+3's 80-100+ rider fields were common. They still are in other parts of the country, especially at bigger racers like this.

Combine down to 2 Elite Men groups...

Was cool in the past to see 100 rider fields of 1-2s... Those days are long gone. Demographics of racers have changed big time in the last 15 years. Most now are racing less and not wanting to become a "Pro" local racer.

Time to split the 35+ 1-2s into the 1-2s and 45+ 1-2s and make it two groups of 1-2s,
Senior 1-2s and Masters 40+ 1-2s. Could see some large Elite fields again. Not enough Elite riders left to give them 3 starts each race.

hmmm...

not a bad idea. You could break it out like so: Sr 1-2, Sr 3, Sr 4, 40+ 1-2, 40+ 3-4, 50+, 60+...

Too Many Master's Fields

Add in a 35+ 1-2, etc is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. We already have a truckload of master's categories, which include 35+ open (and several others). What's the difference between these two? What do you gain?

James

that grouping mentioned

that grouping mentioned above does away w/ 35+ all together. Everyone under 40 races w/ their category. No more 35+ open, 35+ cat 3, 35+ cat 4, 45+ open, 45+ cat 4, etc...

It's two less masters categories than currently run.

Doubling up and the Pro/1/2

I often double up during crits/cross when the schedule allows and honestly there isn't that much of a speed difference on the pointy end of the 35+ or the 3's (who should become 2's eventually).

I really think the crux of the problem is where do you go once you're on that pointy end as a "3". IMO, part of the problem is lumping the pro/1/2 together. Yeah, numbers don't support splitting them up but...

you have 3's who don't want to upgrade because they'll racing against Zirbel/Pearce/Dwight/Webber and those other world class riders. Where's the incentive there? Yeah you want to "get faster by racing against the best" but seriously, there is a genetic gap that any amount of training just can't overcome.

If you're a "2" but over 35 (or 45), which group would you rather race against?

I understand the 35/4 and 45/4 as that's where the bulk of the membership is (or is headed) but after that it gets kinda muddled.

We need to figure out a clear/consistent upgrade path. I certainly don't have all the answers.

1-2-3

IMHO, It'd be nice to have slightly fewer seperate AG races and more variety in ability based cats. ie

P12
123 or 23
34

and limit masters to
35+
35+ 3
35+ 4
45+
45+ 4

seems like plenty of variety to me.

the real problem as mentioned above is that unless youre 35+ and have 35+ open to look forward to theres no incentive for most 3s to upgrade, cuz above 3, youre competing with pros and "full time amateurs", and its a brick wall.

35+ is a nice middle ground for those of us old enough, a little smarter and safer and more tactical than cat3 races, but not dominated as completely by peopel who have 30 hours a week to train. but the current structure seems designed to chew up and spit out all but the most ambitious cat2s.

The only problem I see with

The only problem I see with that, if we had a 2-3 and 3-4, is that you are going to see guys sandbagging the 3-4 pretty hard and those that want their upgrade points are definitely going to go the 3-4 route.

man up

"Really I'm not complaining and do appreciate the hard work you guys do. But 100 person crits are no fun and I won't be doing them anymore."

Read: I have absolutely no confidence in my skills as a rider and would prefer if we could all just ride around parade laps and sprint the last 100 meters.

I was in 3 crits the same weekend in Iowa and not once did we start with less then 130 riders. And you know the crazy thing, there one just two crashes the whole weekend in our fields. This is why Colorado racers aren't better anymore, they are far worse then the rest of the country because the rest of the country is forced to learn to handle their bikes in a pack.

You Sir Are What Is Wrong With Colorado Racing.

Get it together, grow a pair, whatever you need to do, but until then I am sure the peloton is better off without you. Maybe if promoters didn't have to split their event up in a million different races they could offer better prize pots and pay more then the entry fee back to the top 3 finishers of each race.

100% percent agree. Well

100% percent agree. Well put and for my money I would like more guys like you!

We have seen the total pussafication of racing in CO and as you point out, it is why CO riders are no longer strong against other regions in many areas. Complaining against 100 rider fields? That is exactly what is wrong with Colorado riders. Personally I am sick of how small the fields are in CO, I want larger fields). Gez, in other places I have lived I have raced in 200 rider fields in stage races and it was just fine. If people like the complainer rode in 100 riders fields they would actually learn pack skills, what it takes to move up in a pack, how to corner, and how to ride in the wind. Could you imagine how much harder deer trail would be with 100 guys? Versus a field of 25 where you can just move around and never been too far from the front? People would need to learn skills.

We have slowly dumbed down racing in CO to attract more new comers and with the ACA helping at every step. We now have a group of people who want us to run 20 different cats per day, all with fields of 40 or less, so everyone gets a medal and can score BAR/BAT points. How anyone thinks this is good for the sport is beyond me. We now have new comers, and others, who race 6 times a year as they are just a hill climb guy, or I only do non technical races. Man unless you are at the Pro Tour level you ain't so specialist, so show up to the good races, race often and just accept that you will do well at some at not at others (I suck at climbing, but was out on Sunday getting smoked in the RR, but I finished). Have the race #'s grow over the last 5 years? Last time I looked the answer was no. Sure we have more people with license, but we have a insane # of people with ACA license who races less than 5 times a year.

What can we do? Go back the other direction and get rid of the snow ball cats. We need to run fewer cats per day all with bigger fields (no pros has hurt the pro/1/2 group, 35 plus is taking guys out of pro/1/2, 35 cat 3 is taking guys out of cat 3, and now 45 plus cat 4 is making 35 plus cat 4 smaller). We have the same # of people racing, just spread out over more cats. Heck look at Hugo, they had to go the opposite direction and combine cats. To do this we need to end this point of view that people want less and less competition. Here is a simple number of cats (9 or 10) that could be run most days and would allow people to race where they want (age or ability).

Sr Men: pro/1/2, cat 3, cat 4, maybe cat 5? (also lets just go back to USAC and let the pros race again. It has been a joke watching "pro/1/2" races in CO this year)

Women: 1/2/3 and 3/4

Masters: A , B, C, and D (simple enough, we have way to many masters fields and maybe masters needs to start at 40. Jesus the front end of the 35 plus race looks faster than most of the pro/1/2 races)

Thank you to the guy who posted the above comment I am replying to. You make sense and know what is up. Will you run for ACA president?

Ok

For the record, I am not even close to being as informed as you, stating that up front; however, when my buddies come to visit and race in this sissy state of Co, they get their lunch handed to them no matter what category/type of race they enter. No, they are not a bunch of fat guys from Texas. Most are 2/3's, just throwing that out there, and yes I have lived and raced in other states, where my results were better than in this sissy state.

Wrong. A kid from Texas,

Wrong. A kid from Texas, Chad Haga, who had been in Colorado for less than two weeks schooled the Colorado pro's at our own 'hardest' race the Mead Roubaix earlier this year.

45+ cat 4's and 35+ cat 3's really? It's silly that either of those two categories even exist. Colorado racing seems very watered down with way too many categories.

Those "lower" categories pay

Those "lower" categories pay for the racing. Their entry fee, keeps the races going. The racing demographics are getting older and slower. Most now work, have a family and a life outside of road racing.

1-2s & 35+ 1-2s are dying off quickly. Yea, we lost 0 to 10 UCI pros at some races, but 1-2 numbers are slipping away this year. 100+ fields of 1-2s are long gone. We are lucky to break 60 starters now...

So you want cycling to grow old with you?

So OldGuy, you are content to just let this sport die off with you and your generation? Or would it be better to innovate, look for avenues of growth, and get people excited about racing? Maybe being from outside of Colorado racing part of the allure to bring guys like me out here was that opportunity to sharpen my skills as a young rider against the best the country has to offer. Mine as well as other excitement grew more for the sport in two Busstop rides this year with Greg Henderson and Baden Cooke then all the local racing I've done so far. And what do I do with that excitement? Go tell my team's jr riders and U23 guys what that is like and get them excited and wanting to race and cat up. Take what I learned from those guys, apply it to myself then teach those willing to learn what I know. Catering to the group that is losing steam and hasn't proven to be very effective at enticing young new members doesn't seem like a sound business practice, at least not for a sport.

What are you doing to grow the sport? Where is your passion?

Sport is not dying

I found the 2009 aca numbers http://303cycling.com/2009-aca-racer-participation-data and the sport is not dying, its growing, just not equally in all categories. Sorry I don't have 2010 data yet, haven't bugged the ACA to share that information yet. Does it matter where growth comes as long as we get growth?

Maybe the lack of junior riders and non-master rider might have more to do the imagine of cycling then the categories. Who wants to race road bikes when you can be cooler riding a fixie with neon glasses or do 360 tail whips off of a new valmont bike park jump, or own a downhill bike. IMO changing categories won't change the imagine much and may slow the spot where growth as been the largest.

Here is some more data on rider participation
http://303cycling.com/American-Cycling-Association-Racing-Numbers

This got way derailed but I

This got way derailed but I think the original point was to either combine 35/3 and Cat3 or run them as separate races. But don't combine them in the same race and then score them separately.

I agree the sport (road

I agree the sport (road racing) is not dying, but really it is not growing either(cross is a different story). The numbers are up a little and we have more ACA members, but the number of members who do not race, or barely race (less than 5 times/year) is a lot of what is driving that. If you look at the people who really race, say 10 times or more per year, those numbers are pretty flat (and this is based on the last time the ACA released the full numbers). So what does the ACA and the riders want? To focus on the core group, or bring in more people who do not race a lot?

One of things that was presented as we started to add more and more categories was the idea we are losing riders on the lower end and if we add more and more categories we will keep those riders and grow the sport. Clearly that has not really happened, what has happened is other categories have been cannibalized to make these new fields. Thus giving us more fields, with fewer racers per field, and no real increase in the # of riders.

We're all dying...

Average age of licensed riders is getting older every year. Great that people are sticking with racing or coming into racing later in life. Look at the number of 45+ 4s to see how many are just starting racing at a late age. 35+ used to be the "old" guys, now 35 is below the median age of license holders. Median age is probably between 40~45 now in ACA/USAC ranks.
Road Race numbers are still strong, just always shifting to the older groups. Need to keep adjusting age groups to keep up.

How to get more Juniors and 20 somethings? Good question. We've tried Race Free, Free Camps and now are trying the Junior only Stage Race this weekend. Should see 100s of kids... Maybe expand it to include a U23 (or U25) group?

Cost is inhibitive...

For a young rider to get started in this sport is nearly impossible without significant financial support. It has gotten out of control how much it costs to race a bike. In addition, if a kid lives in the metro area, where does he go to train? When I grew up in rural Pennsylvania we would just go ride all day. However, with traffic in suburbia here in the Denver metro area it's tough for a young kid to just go for a ride.

The other challenge with junior ranks here is that the fields are sadly very small. Any junior with talent and desire needs to race in the senior categories to get an understanding for bike handling, strategy, conserving energy and learning how to read a race.

On a positive note (sometimes hard to see here in this forum) the Ridge View Academy program is one greatest things happening in ACA racing and rarely do they get the recognition they deserve. The gentleman that runs this program loads these boys up from Watkins and brings them considerable distance to race their bikes, which for them is a privilege and not a right. Perhaps we could all learn from an attitude such as this. http://www.ridgeviewacademy.com/14911061183141943/site/default.asp

Agree with Cost

I just want to second the cost as being a factor for the 20 somethings. I'm 24 and find it hard to scrounge the cash together to actually go out and race regularly, especially when races are $30-35 a pop (this doesn't include things like gas, bike maintenance, etc). Even worse is when races, like morgul RR, are $75 if you register the day of. I understand there are costs associated with putting up a race, but they are getting to the point where only the established family man (or women) can afford it.

Fact and fiction

First fictional issue is that Colorado has the hardest bike racing in the country. It's as good as anything out there but I raced in New England from 2002-2009 and now two years here. It's no different to me. Same number of pros, former pros and the usual stock of 30-hour per week amateurs. Genetics is the same no matter where and bike racing is equally difficult here to that of New England.

Another myth here are huge fields on the East Coast. Granted there are a few races that fill up, most are not 80+ racers. 40-60 is pretty standard for most races.

I do not think it is a lower

I do not think it is a lower catagory versus upper catagory thing. So many guys in the lower catagories like to use that battle cry and call anyone racing as a 1/2 an elitist. The issue really is we now have about the same number of riders, spread out over a much larger number of catagories. That is not healthy nor is it growth, no business would be runt hat way. We need to find a way to run fewer catagories, with larger field sizes. I do not know the answer, but maybe starting masters at 40 is an idea, and another one is going to ability based masters racing. There are currently 6 main masters catagories for men and that is a lot.

Should You

being using the word WRONG so harshly??? The earlier thread never mentioned pros, not once. Does the Iron Horse Classic support your logic,(not positive what you are saying i guess, neither agree or disagree with you) a non-ACA race for sure. They had to combine 2/3 because of numbers. In summary of he participants Pro =31 2/3 = 74 35+ =135 45+ =138 55+ = 127 There website results have all these numbers, what do these numbers mean to you? Prove you your point or not? The Iron Horse Classic is one fine weekend with racers from many states, I was there thinking it was a shame that the Morgul Race was at he same time, Ahhhhh Colorado, what a great state to race in, options for a 3 day weekend all over the state.

35/3 RR largely neutralized

There was a 2 minute start time gap between the 3's and the 35/3s in the road race on Sunday. On the first lap the 35/3s had to go past the 3's. Then at the end of that lap the 3's came back thru and stayed out in front. But the 35/3s were constantly being slowed down by the refs so they didn't catch up again, and this had a neutralizing effect on attacks.
Why is there only a 2 minute gap between starts?

Yeah, it seemed clear the

Yeah, it seemed clear the 35/3 was moving a bit faster. I think a small group of SM3 thought it would be beneficial to immediately attack through the 35/3 group shortly after the first pass rather than letting the packs naturally get some distance. Still a 5 minute start gap would probably have eliminated the issue altogether.

Thanks!

Sometimes these comments seem to be overly negative. I just want to give a huge thanks to everyone who put this race on. It really was well run and fun to race! I hope it keeps going.