The greatly anticipated 2016-2017 Cyclocross Season openened in New England with CompEdge Cross @ Blunt Park in Springfield, Ma and the Aetna-Expo Wheelmen team represented well.
Dave was first to arrive and set up our team tent in a prime location with great bunny hipping views. Jeremy, Todd, Nicole, Stan and I all soon followed ready to rip up the dusty technical course! We all remembered to arrive the typical two plus hours before you race to preview laps, make mechanical adjustments and chat with all your close friends.
Blunt Park does warrant a couple preview laps and does not disappoint in terms of shaking out your turning cobwebs. The was fast, loose in the turns, twisty and a bonus extended mountain bike-esq section with big roots and a ramp. Dave and Jeremy were first up from the team in the Masters 45+ race. Dave dominated from start to finish riding to a solo victory and Jeremy had a strong top 10 finish, both looking smooth and comfortable on course.
Next up was the Elite 1/2/3 Mean and Masters 35+ which grew in size day of with some tough competition from the arrival of the JAM/NCC crew along with Pro riders Jeremy Durrin and Curtis White. The race started fast and quickly seperated itself into an elite group including Todd & Dave. Todd controlled the race until the last lap where Jeremy Durrin attacked and took the win. Todd and Dave took an impressive 2nd and 3rd place finish. Stan finished strong in the masters 35+ rocking the new @Madalchemy socks.
The last race of the day was the Women's open and included myself and Nicole. It was great to see so many familiar and new faces line up to test their cross legs for the start of an exciting season that will culminate with Hartford, CT hosting Nationals. Our race started with elite racer Cassie Maximenko taking the hole shot and myselft quickly jumping on her wheel. I was able to stay with Cassie for about a lap, just long enough to give myself a comfortable buffer and come home with 2nd place. Nicole race hard and finished strong amongst some tough competition. It was a fun, dusty, twisty day and most of all we all survived the first cross race feeling excited for the season to arrive!