Photography by Dan Sharp
For the third weekend of Cross Crusade action we headed back out to the Washington County Fairgrounds. If dry this can be a fast course, with little to no elevation gain and some long straightaways, not to mention a few horse barns, the circuit gets real quick. This was not to be the case as the rains from the previous week and throughout the day turned the course into a thick, sticky mess. We had our friend and de-facto team member Dan Sharp out there to document all the action. With teammates in from out of town it made for an awesome Athletic change of pace.
While looking through his awesome photos the other night we commented that we hadn't seen much DSharp cyclocross photography lately. He was a part of the scene more when we were doing Embrocation together and we were traveling around the country - getting stuck behind ash clouds while trying to get to Roubaix and just generally having a grand time of things. But, then, over the last couple years - months - days - who knows how these things happen - he went a bit quieter - at least when it comes to the cylocross photos. Sure, he pops up in Japan and shoots the Nobeyama race - or China to document their weird version of the sport, but we rarely see him at the races, and even rarer still, with a camera.
Well, he was off making this - BENEDICTO - spend some time with that, you're going to like it.
Anyway, we somehow convinced him that he should come out and shoot photos of the CX Team at Historic Washington Park. This was the spot where we launched our CX kit's last year (what? it takes time to do these things) with Ty in town no less. And if memory serves me Steven Hunter and I did the same thing at the same place a few years back. It was also muddy. Plus, we had the added bonus this year of having a few of the crew in town to represent - and it's always good to make those cats looks good (not that it's hard).
Dan Action & Nathalie Anderson
These two are in town for some good old fashioned fun. Which we have had more than our share of so far. Not that it's ending any time soon. Hopefully this weekend in Bend the mud levels will be at a minimum and everyone can keep their derailleurs. They flew in from PA, so they know what to do in the mud and Dan has seen his fair share of Bend, so barring any mishaps we should be on track to continue the CX tradition out there. Dan was a part of the OG crew - well, when we first found him he was making his own (wool) skinsuits in his Mom's basement, but that is another story altogether.
Sort of smiling.
He stashed the Mobile Cycle Club somewhere in the East after pulling more than a million shots over the course of a week. You do what you can to keep the East Coast fans happy. Trust me. Plus, he has routinely pulled shots of espresso and then jumped into the races when the time is right. Word on the street is that 5th Street Cross in Emaus, PA now has a new fan. The Wilcox, as he is known in certain circles - did two races last weekend with nary a kit change betwixt. Yum. He also drank about a pint of whiskey on his own. Nothing holds this man back.
We are starting to see the form come back around. Turns out it is a lot of work to run a sucessful weekly training race, have a full time job and a new kid to bounce on your knee all day. But none of those things can disguise this one important fact - Clint has a Rock Lobster. Not sure what my problem is, but I forget and then every time I see it I am blown away by how freaking cool that is. Just think about it for a second...because I do.
Ho hum, broken derailleur time for this young buck. (You can visit him in the shop this weekend if you aren't heading to Bend. He'll be there). I looked over at one point during the race to see Cole kissing a young lady - don't worry it was his girlfriend. It was the nicest little smooch - you know the kind, where she's trying to avoid the mud on his face - but what was strange about it was that it was happening just next to the course where I could have swore Cole was racing just a minute ago.
This lovely lady finished third in the Elite Women's race. It turns out all the running that we have been doing was put to good use on this day. Lots of running, which means lots of carrying and from the looks of it her form was perfect. Except for the little slip in the off camber turn a few laps in. She had practiced riding that muddy, rutted section and it looked like she was going to do it again - until she wasn't. Whoops. Good recovery and you're back in the mix!
I thought you would never ask. I played my cards right. Felt really shitty, tried not to shift and came away with one of my better Cross Crusade finishes in a long time. Did I beat Ira Breadwinner? Are we keeping that tally going? Well, if we are, then yes. Their tree of a man Joel Madrone had an amazing race up at the front with our friend Pete Smith (Mad Alchemy) and there was no catching site of either of those two for the duration of the race.
But how did it shake out? Ok, I'll give you the last four turns because I know that's what you wanted:
- Ira comes up on me. I stuff him into a corner and magically hear the word "douche" float through the air. Must have been a spectator. He passes me in the next corner and almost takes us both out when a lady in front of us stops (oregon racing!).
- He passes me and then as we are rounding a corner shouts ahead to a young lady "on your right, coming up on your right." She doesn't move fast enough for him so he goes for the pass on the left...just as she moves to the left per his suggestion. Voila open door for me to slip by.
- We head into the final tricky turns of the race, it is a four turn scenario with deeply rutted slippery gutters from previous races. I go wide to hit the grass and Ira takes the bait (don't you love it when a plan comes together?) and dives into those slippery turns.
- On the final one, he follows the muddy rut to the outside and the grass section that I've been riding on the whole time pays off and I cleanly snake his inside. Another voice, probably another errant fan shouts "noooo" for some odd reason and we make the final left of the race and cross the finish line.
He was there, he was in good enough spirits after our "battle" to comment on how quickly I was slipping backwards towards the end of the race, so we're counting it! He does wear nice socks though, so we'll give him that.
The Athletic - 2 Breadwinner - 1
The Bend racing is this weekend and it turns out it will be the only racing happening in Bend this year after the Deschute's Brewery announced they were pulling out of the UCI races that were scheduled for December. Whoops. There goes any chance to see the best of the best of our sport in Oregon. Oh well, maybe we can have another costume race in its stead?
Someone clean those bikes!