Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kicking Horse Cup cyclocross

Last weekend was the final 2 races of the Kicking Horse cup series, and also the first cyclocross events of the year.

First up was the Hospice cross at the base of Mt. 7. The course was a mix of old school with some fast granular trail sections and new school with a rough fast descent, long run up, and some off camber grass sections. I would say this is probably the funnest course that I have ever raced on.

The race went well, I got the holeshot and then finally was able to go solo off the front on the barriers on the 2nd lap and held my lead until the end of the race.

After the race (after crushing a grocery store pizza) I headed over to rip the mainline trail. Combined with the  new Old age, treachery and gold rush trails this trail seemed much more fun than I remembered from last year. The trail was incredibly flowy, except that I rode Gold rush the wrong way. For optimum riding, climb north on the powerline road (under the new powerlines) when you get there on Mainline to get to the trailhead for Goldrush.

Mike had some trickery up his sleeve for the 2nd day of CX racing, and I went up to help him and his team out with the course setup. The course featured a spiral vortex similar to United Cycle's Devon race that required some advanced thinking manouvers to set up properly. After poaching a hot tub, it was time to crawl into the sleeping bag.

Day 2 up at Kicking Horse was interesting. With rain the previous evening continuing overnight, I was not too stoked to ride in the mud, but once I did a couple of laps to get the course dialed in, I was having fun! I took it a little more chill off the start, but asserted my position on the steeper climbs near the gondola. I led off the front for the rest of the race, building my lead, except when I stopped to pick up some money!

I ended up winning the series which gets me a 2 night stay at a condo at Kicking Horse this winter. I should be able to put that to good use.

Mt. 7. The descent from the top will have to wait for another day. Terminator ridge sounds like it has a fun rip as well.

So overall, a big thanks to Mike and Aleks for organizing the 5 race series. I enjoyed the format and course of all the races. The road races were fast paced and had some good climbing, the mountain bike race had a fast and flowy descent, and the CX courses were fun. This series is one not to be missed for next year!

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