Crimson Cross was the 2016 Boise region cyclo-cross season opener, and it was the second cyclo-cross event put on by the Boise Velo Women. The venue was the Crimson Gem Orchard in Emmett, Idaho, and the BVW and CGO invested many hours to transform the orchard into a first time cyclo-cross venue. The turn-out of more than 100 participants was greater than expected, and the perfect calm wind, upper 60F temperature and clear sky contributed to the success / enjoyment of the event.
The course condition ranged from dry loose “orchard” dirt with wheat grass stubble to soft dirt turns. The course was primarily a turning challenge with many competitors appearing tentative and unclipping or breaking to a near stop in some of the tightest turns. There were no dismount – remount obstacles. The BVW planned to include barriers, but ran out of time, as significant effort was expended removing goat head thorns from the venue.
The goat heads took their toll, but they did not ruin the event. Rather, they demanded fresh tubeless tires and sealant. Those of us with stale tubeless tires / sealant or tubed tires with sealant likely flatted before the end of our race, and those with tubed tires without sealant likely flatted early in their race. It was a matter of knowing what the venue demanded, and those of us who failed to scout this new venue often paid the price.
The vibe at the event was cyclo-cross with most participants and spectators remaining for the duration of all the races, awards, raffles. The Crimson Gem Orchard owners and workers all admired the camaraderie of the participants “even though they were competing against each other”, and they mentioned things that could be done to the venue to improve next year’s event.
The Men Cat4-5 race had 50 registered racers, and this is a great sign of the health of cyclo-cross in the region. It is notable that less than 2 hours away, the Twin Falls Cyclocross Series kicked-off on the same day, and this attracted many of the Magic Valley and Sun Valley competitors that might otherwise have travelled to the Boise region to race.
This race rewarded those who remained concentrated on the turning challenges, looking ahead and setting up for the next turn, turning early or late as dictated by the soft dirt, not wasting energy by panic braking, accelerating out of the turns. Many commented that the course brought out the worst in their technique. Hence, it was a great cyclo-cross challenge!
The Boise Velo Women fielded the largest women’s team by far, and possibly the most competitors of any team, including several new competitors. Team Up Cycle featured new title sponsor and kit (i.e., formerly Boise Rush / Rhino Rush), and they fielded the largest men’s team. Growing teams and new sponsors are also a great sign of the health of cyclo-cross in the region.
The Men Cat4-5 race was first of the day with the largest number of teams represented, but 10Barrel was most prominent with two top five finishers and several riders taking barley hand-ups. The top five riders separated from the field and remained within 20 – 30 seconds of each other throughout the race: Daniel Micheletti 1st – 10Barrel; Erik Young 2nd – Athletes Lounge; Andrew Li 3rd – TriTown; Garret Smith 4th – 10Barrel; and Steve Rudzinski 5th – Caprock.
The Women and Master Men race was the second race of the day with Boise Velo Women being the best represented team.
Russell Thorstrom – Up Cycle and Rob Burke – Eastside separated from the Master Men field early with Russell leading the entire race and Rob finishing ~10 seconds back. Douglas Turner – Eastside and Troy Nichol – Broken Spoke battled for 3rd with Doug leading the battle initially, but Troy taking over 3rd place in the second half of the race.
The Women’s race was initially a 3-way battle between Anna Megale – Boise Velo Women, Nicole Jorgenson – Ten Speed Hero and Abigail Youngwerth – Ten Speed Hero. Before long, Abby drifted back to 3rd, and Anna began to build a lead and take the win over Nicole.
The Men Cat1-2-3 race was the last race of the day with Team Up Cycle being the best represented team. The leaders separated by the end of the first lap, and Chris Ganter opened up a lead in the second lap. Before long, everybody else was battling for second place. Ian Megale held 2nd place for much of the race before losing it to Alan Schroeder. Gabe Keck secured 4th place.
The photographs included in this article were taken by and are the property of Fritz Stafford and Michele Swan.
Author: Fritz Stafford
Published: October 7, 2016