(Adam McIntyre - up the steps and through the woods at Ithaca 2012)
Well the season is finally here, and it has started off swinging with right from the bell with a spectacular round one - Ithaca! It was great to see the beautiful cyclocross return to the calendar. Hats off, a round of applause and free beer for JB Hancock and the whole crew, Stomach of Anger, for brining this race back. Looks like I wasn't the only one waiting for the return - just counting results I could see that the numbers far exceeded previous years.
(B Women at the line Sarah McIntyre looking cool in the foreground Ellie Burke in Kenda kit with the game face on! Where is Amy Haney? Nice ride Amy!)
One of the happiest surprises of the weekend was the number of women racing cross in every category. Bigger fields, way more competitive than last year, women's cyclocross is starting to look for real. Right now we don't have any photos of Cupcake, but she was motoring - over a course that was super-super-super tough (more on that shit later). She took a podium spot, riding over competition she hadn't put in the review before well done Cupcake - when they called you to the podium they noted you were a professional "Hecklhorn-Heckler." It was also wonderful to see our old friend Ann Swartz back in great form.
(The mark that Cupcake left on the course and the women's Elite field)
(Adam taking the hole shot and the Sprint Prime. Straight up a paved hill. )
A hard course started out hard and ended that way. In between the hard and painful parts is was also hard and painful. We'll demonstrate with a number a photos we've gratefully ripped off from the McIntyre's Face Book page.
(Downhill flying dismount into over-sized amphitheater steps. What the f*ck is this JB, Kisscross? Thankfully nobody bit it here. Sarah shows some nice form flying into the first step.)
(Sarah took the first step Adam made the rest. While you may wonder what he's doing racing a Librarian, that guy was tough.)
While the course was littered with heart-exploding challenges, the good part was the grass was smooth as a baby's ass. And while there were a lot of spectacular up and down features, it really was safe to ride and race full tilt. While a few people went down (I don't think I saw one crash, personally) it was mostly in technical, tight turns.
Not long after the stairs, you got well another chance to show off your on-and-off-form on some barriers. I think they were just there for promotional purposes.)
(Does this look like a long and painful climb? It was. Sarah stomps her way up the grassy Sledding Hill.)
After getting your ass-kicked in the Amphitheater you were sent to the back of the course for a proper beating, starting off with a slog up the sledding hill. It was long, it hurt, and so on. Later in the day I was proud of myself for riding this on a Single Speed. Then of course I died.
(After the Sledding Hill and some flying twisties, you got to eat some sand.)
(Momma make him stop! JB through in this steep dirt hill to bring you back to the Amphitheater. Great race by Adam to make the podium after a few weeks being off from injury. I think he fell in the basement or something like that.)
(Scott Walburn in happier days before the start of the Men's B Race at Ithaca. He won't stop talking about the Woodchuck!)
Long, brutal laps. But somehow it was all fun. And it was great to see a bunch of West Siders making the treak - also a bunch of friendly faces from the Bastard rides. Scott "Wood Chuck Killer"Walburn (who got a top ten spot in the highly competitive Men's B) along with Aaron Huntington, Bob Hughes, Tom and Ellie Burke, Laura Melendez, Jack McIntyre ... and who else? Yeah you guessed it Last but not least were Slayer and his lovely wife Amy Haney. Jeff, by the way took first in the tough-tough-tough Master 45+. Looks like it's another year for the Slayer!
(Slayer slayed the 45+ Masters with a new bike and wheels that looked So-Pro it made your eyes hurt. Hopefuly we'll have a photo soon.)
(Lining up the Cat 4 35+. There were a bunch of Bastards in this one. It was great to see good sized fields. There were a few racers that traveled down from Sault Ste. Marie Canada!)
If you want to see the full results for all the Ithaca Races you can hunt around or go to The Michigan Scene where they've just been posted this morning.
(The BIG STAR of the race was of course Big Mac's and Sarah McIntyre's Cyclocross Trailer - and the full-on Crazy Bastard Pit area of course. Yeah it was a party.)
Everyone was so enthralled with the McIntyre's Big Long Cyclocross Trailer, that they immediately made a movie of it, which has been out since 1953, long before they were born ... that's how long the trailer is.
See you Tuesday for a ride, perhaps. With temperatures cooling, and the sun sinking it's just about time for a long-sleeved jersey and a light. Well maybe ....