This cyclocross thing is really quite a ball. Especially for the fast and fearless.
Jorden Wakeley, John Cowan and Chad Wells took a break from their Iceman preparations to put on another phenomenal race in the Cross the Bay Cyclocross Series Sunday afternoon. Wakeley was looking to move up a spot from his second place at Breezeway, with Cowan looking to repeat with a little bit of helpful from his teammate Wells.
The men’s A race had a small field in part due to a number of Did Not Starts, many of them riders from a huge B field. The 24 man B race was one of the largest yet in the first year series and boasted a CAT 3 state road race champion in John Leach, and one of the toughest riders in the state in Chris Kushman. The Einstein duo didn’t have quite enough to wrangle up Paul DeBeer, who took the win in the flying-fast B race ahead of some outstanding competition. Einstein did lump together riders in places 2,3,4, and 5, with Jason Whittaker and Ryan Bolin filling out the top half of the top ten ahead of Wes Sovis in 6th.
The Women’s A race was handled pretty chokingly by Kim Chapman, who also walked away with the win at Breezeway as well. Chapman finished ahead of the ever-smiling Chelsea Strate and Tina Dominic, with Christina Beech in fourth. Chapman battled hard and was one of the smoothest riders on course, with the Men’s Bs and Women’s As sharing the circuit. She would have finished top ten in the Men’s, no small feat with as many quality riders as were on hand.
The Women’s C was tight, with new-mum Arianne Whittaker making her cyclocross debut with the young T-Dubs cooing her on. Whittaker playing it conservatively, passing second place Linda Larson halfway through the race after marking the wheel early. Betsy Schnell (Schnell means “fast” in German, according to Hogan’s Heroes) took third ahead of Beth Carrington.
John Ammond, absent from training for much of the past two weeks while obsessing over his beloved Tigers, returned in style with a Men’s C victory in Einstein Racing colors. Ammond made the break with an elite group comprised of Rob Goepfrich and Aaron Kitscher. The trio battled most of the day, with Goepfrich forcing Ammond to the front, which allowed Kitscher to catch back on, which ultimately led to him snatching away second from Goepfrich in a three-up sprint to the line.
On a special note, Haley Fogo won the Junior’s race ahead of the Bakus brothers, Nicholas and Zac. The Juniors deserve an extra Chapeau! for their toughness. Lifting 30 pounds bikes over 1 foot barriers isn’t easy when you weigh 60 pounds and are only 2/3 taller than the barrier.
That Men’s A race turned out to be another barn-burner, with Wells and Cowan playing tactics against Wakeley from the gun. A flat tire from Wells halfway through the race made it a man-to-man, hand-to-hand brawl, with Cowan and Wakeley taking turns in the lead. Wells’ flat put Einstein’s Ty Schmidt into the money but too far back to put pressure on Cowan. With a lap and a half to go, Cowan cramped up near just after the second set of barriers, and Wakeley was ready to pounce. He put in fifteen seconds, then another fifteen on the final circuit to cruise in comfortably.
The win makes the Series 1-1 for both Cowan and Wakeley and for Einstein and North Country Cycle Sport.
Here’s Jorden’s impressive Strava information from the A race. He’s a freak, folks.
The next race of the Cross the Bay Series is November 18 at Traverse City’s Civic Center. Don’t miss it.