The final stop of the series still has an awful lot left to be decided.
The last race of the season looks to be a truly Belgian event. After three races in sun and warmth, the temperature finally looks chilly and there’s a sizable chance of of snow for this Sunday’s finale. The Civic Center course is an absolutely perfect venue and provides a great mix of speed, technical skill and a tough bit of sand each lap. It suits a well-rounded rider, and one that can adapt; the course for Sunday will have a few wrinkles to keep riders on their toes.
With Mike Anderson, the 2012 Top Banana Competition winner, Barry-Roubaix champion and a 4th place finisher at Iceman, Civic Center #1 was a huge end of season bash for a rider who has been on top of his game since March. The combined power of Chad Wells and John Cowan couldn’t reign him in, and for race #2, third place finisher Aaron Beebe may not be back to challenge either. Einstein Racing’s Jorden Wakeley will make a return to ‘cross as the favorite, renewing his rivalry with both Cowan and Wells, and his on-going battle with Anderson, if he makes the trip.
In the Women’s A Race, Johanna Schmidt from Einstein Racing will look to go two for two after a big win in the event ahead of teammate Chelsea Strate. Other women in the area haven’t stepped up to take the start, though it may fall to the likes of Arianne Whittaker to jump up and take the third place check off the awards table. Rumors abound that Melissa Ryba of Hagerty Cycling may give it a go, and the off-chance that CX Queen Kim Thomas would make the trip north and take on the best of TC.
The Men’s B race will be a tough one again, and looks to be the biggest field once more. John Leach from Einstein is looking for just 1 more point to get his upgrade, but it won’t come easy. If Steve Andriese could get a legal bike, it could be close, and Craig Webb, teammate Ryan Bolin and a host of others will mark Leach as the overwhelming favorite. An interesting rider to watch will be Ross Gibbs from North Country Cycle Sport, and his teammate Trevor Kingsbury. The two have been steadily in and around the top ten, and with a bit of luck and bad weather, might threaten the podium.
The Men’s C was an absolute blast to watch all year, and this one will be no different. John Ammond will focus on the B race, leaving the door open for Rob Goepfrich, the first rider to bear the kolotc.com team name. EpicHappens’ Spencer Payne will be a big threat if he makes a second start, while Civic Center #1 winner Glen Ruczynski from City Bike should be back and riding as the most dangerous rider. He may skip the C race and put all his efforts into the B race.
Registration for Cross the Bay is open, so get signed up. Grab a hot chocolate, put on your wool mittens and stop by to cheer on the bravest riders in the North.