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Cycling Mon Oct 20 2008

'Cross in Carpentersville

Photo of Ben Popper leading the Men's 1/2/3 race by Jen Scheutz.

Results are up for yesterday's ChiCrossCup series race in Carpentersville. With a beer tent and several cover bands providing the best kinds of entertainment, the racing risked being relegated to mere distraction. No worries, though, because from all reports, the course was a real kicker and threw up real challenges to both the power riders and tech artists.

Aside from some heavy drama in the Men's 1/2/3 race, most everyone had a good, painful, sweaty time.

Tamara Fraser of xXx Racing-Athletico, who raced in the Women's 4 race, had this to say: "I overcooked a corner before the first barrier and lost about 15 places. I spent the rest of the race catching and passing, catching and passing. Which, I have to say, was extremely gratifying. Especially as I was catching women I know to be very strong."

Joining Tamara in the 1/2/3 race was Holly Klug of Killjoy, who has had an exceptionally strong year. Her race Sunday wasn't her absolute best, but still impressive, earning fourth: "I felt strong and half of the course suited my style of riding. I was happy with riding the sand pit every lap except the last one where a rider was running and I was headed right for them so I hopped off."

Gapers Block higher-up Naz Hamid, of the Half Acre Cycling squad (and my teammate) who is campaigning a strong year in the Men's 4A category with hopes of an upgrade soon to the 3's said that "I have the endurance but not the top end. That's where I'm lacking. 33rd this time," adding "If anything, it was a clean, fast race. Maybe I could have done with less clean and more fast but I'll take what I can get."

Coming this Sunday is Bartlett. I hold no faith in weather reports this far out, but fingers are crossed that the skies open up and a deluge pours down to create treacherous mudpits and slimy corners. Only then will the cyclocross season have really started.

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