Woodland Park Cyclocross, Kalispell, MT PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexandre Lussier   
Sunday, 26 October 2008 13:28

John and Alex go 1-2! 



Photos by Natasha Westphal 

We were all happy to see a good turnout for the Woodland ‘Cross in Kalispell this past Saturday.  The men-123 and master-A field was over 20 deep and the weather was perfect.  A section of tight slalom turns through the trees kept the pace reasonable for at least the first half of lap 1, which was led by Frank Gonzalez (MT Velo).  I was greatful for Frank’s humane pace but it didn’t take long for John Curry to grow impatient, crank it up a notch, and take control of the race.  Bob Presta (montanacyclocross.com), Geoff Proctor (MT Velo), and I did our best to stay with him but he quickly established a gap and rode away.

After a few exhausting laps with Bob and Geoff on my tail they finally came around me and I was glad to sit in their draft while they chased my teammate down.  At some point, Geoff had a small bobble in the trees and dropped back 5 or 10 seconds, riding with Frank, who eventually had a flat tire which took him out of contention.  Geoff clawed his way back up to Bob and I.  We were once again in a three way battle for second place.

With two laps to go Bob put in a hard attack.  I wasn’t sure I could match it so waited a split second to see if Geoff would respond.  It was a gamble that paid off.  He turned on the diesel on the straightaway and I tucked behind him as he reeled me back up to Bob.  We made the tight grassy turn at the base of the climb and I felt they had both burnt a match in their accelerations so I put one in of my own.  I was first to tackle the tight paved switchbacks but missed wide on the second corner, allowing Bob to accelerate past me.   After the switchbacks and the stairs run up it was Geoff who attacked from behind.  There were very few passing opportunities left on the course so I got on Geoff’s wheel and a soon as he passed Bob I counter-accelerated past him, just in time for the tight chicane before the single track along the train tracks.  From there I knew that all I could do was to make sure I didn’t make a mistake, go as hard as I could, and hope it was enough.  I didn’t dare look back.  Coming around a tight corner in the soft, energy sucking section after the dirt run up my peripheral vision caught someone just 4 or 5 bike lengths behind me.  At the bottom of the fast descent I carefully checked my speed before tackling the tight grass/pavement/grass turn.  With 150 yards to go I knew that looking back would do me no good so I just pedaled as hard as I could, not knowing if I had 5 or 0.5 seconds on Bob or Geoff.  Finally, in the last grassy turn just 20 feet before the finish, sensing no presence around me, I looked over my left shoulder to see Bob 50 yards behind.  I relaxed and put an arm up in the air to celebrate my best finish in a Montana cyclocross to date.
















John won the race in dominating fashion.  He won again the next day at Herron Park.  The men's B race included Aaron Johnson from GAS who took part in his third event this year after and almost two year hiatus.  Lisa gave the men a run for their money and won the women’s cat 3 race.  Stay tuned for John's Herron Park report!