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Sunday, July 3

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Cycling Tue Sep 23 2008

Ridin' Dirty

So, the first ChiCrossCup race went off rather well. Yes, the results are a bit buggered, but since you all had your chance to protest, well, then you get what you get. Scoring 'cross is hard work just because it often doesn't take much longer than half the race for the leaders to make their way around and start lapping the competition. Unfortunately for the officials, when that happens, it often makes for a confusing mess. The word on the street that chip timing would fix things, and it likely would. In my experience, chipped races are nearly protest-proof, easy to run for officials, organizers, and racers alike. However, the cost alone, at a couple of thousand dollars for a decent system, is deterrent enough. But with the ChiCrossCup as popular as it likely will be this year, judging from participation at Jackson Park on Sunday, a concerted effort amongst the organizers and the local governing bodies to purchase a chip system could spare some headaches down the road.

But besides all that, Sunday's race in the Southside was a complete blast. All the fields were well represented, with over 100 riders in the men's combined category 4. The racing started off strong with the Men's Master's combined race - Kevin Klug of Killjoy in the 30+ went off on a flyer and kept the wolves at bay to take the win. In the Men's 3 Elite race, Jason Knauff of Vitaminwater-Trek won handily ahead of Brad Zoller and Brian Parker of xXx-AthletiCo.

The Elite Women category was run at the same time as the Men's 3s, with June Upshaw of Verdigris Custom Homes taking the win ahead of Rebecca Much of xXx and Holly Klug of Killjoy. In the Women's 4s, Leah Sanda of Flatlandia came in at the top of the podium, followed by Angie Koch of Vision Quest and Eileen Neville of xXx-AthletiCo.

Scattered through the results in the mens' races were riders from the Pony Shop squad based out of Evanston. PS rider Brian Conant, tagteaming along with teammate Luca Lenzi shut down the 1/2/3 race in an impressive effort that left spectators voices sore from overzealous cheering.

At the end of the day, the 4A and 4B mens' races were left to go, and with huge fields of varying experience, ability and strength, the action was brutal. Crashes abounded at the barriers scattered about the course, and in the "Whirlpool of Death" a mean little hairpin set after a big left hand sweeper, pileups were commonplace. In the 4A race, xXx-AthletiCo took three of the five top spots, led by Mike Seguin and Ed Amstutz. In the 4B race Brian Hague, Ken Dawson and Garrison Riegel pulled-in for the 1, 2, 3 to bring home a huge sense of accomplishment, if not prizes of "merchandise" (likely hemp and chocolate flavored ClifBars).

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