Early in the morning this past Sunday, a ferocious downpour greeted Portland. A roaring liquid bashing that left our city wet and cold, just the conditions for a sloppy day of cyclocross racing. Fortunately, we had prepared for this contingency. We had two pop-up tents in heckle corner, and we brought a restaurants-worth of fried chicken, potato salad, and our unsinkable enthusiasm for racing. We would feast through the bad weather, keeping warm with food and drink.
The race took place at Portland International Raceway, which is inside the city limits, and this helped to draw a huge crowd of participants and fans. In turn, a large number of employees suited up in their new Chris King factory team skinsuits, racing throughout the day. It wasn’t just racers who braved the wet conditions, the events proximity to most of our homes, and a sustained sun break at mid-day, drew a slew of non-racing employees to the event, and they lined the course heckling and cheering on their fellow factory mates.
While it was a very wet morning, conditions changed dramatically throughout the day, with the B and Single Speed fields finishing in the afternoon on a course that offered sections of high-speed hard pack paired with stretches of sticky peanut butter mud. No matter what time you raced, the conditions on Sunday were challenging, and the racing was fierce.
Despite leaving it all out on the course, the Chris King crew dug deep and found extra energy to cheer on Cielo production assistant, and overall contender for the Cross Crusade title, Josh Kelley in the A race. Josh was out of the gate with a terrific start, and only Molly Cameron of Portland Bicycle Studiowas able to hold his wheel. The two battled hard at the beginning of the race; swapping positions back and forth, with Josh losing time in the long flat sections only to reel Molly back in through the technical sections. During the last 3rd of the race Josh found himself tied up with some course tape, and Molly rode away with the win. Josh would eventually find himself with a 3rd on the day, matching his 3rd place finish at the Oregon State Championships on Saturday. Great work team.
Chris King Factory Team Results:
Ian Boggs – C’s, 29th
Dylan VanWeelden – Single Speed, 26th
Kevin Templeton – Single Speed, 27th
Chris Burge – Single Speed, 60th
John Howe – Single Speed, 70th
Cameron Vander Stoep – Single Speed, 75th – Masters B, 31st
Kevin Phomma – Single Speed, 81st
Chris DiMinno – Clydesdale, 28th
Matt Simonet – Clydesdale, 45th
Josh Kelley – A’s, 3rd
Of course we had some beer on hand, and the enthusiastic crowd enticed racers with cold brews, dollar hand-ups, loud cheering, and all the typical raucous buffoonery that is a staple part of the Cross Crusade experience. With a cold snap threatening to hit most of the U.S. in the coming week, we took advantage of the temperate fall weather to have a great day at the races. Until next weekend, hop every barrier, clean every technical section, keep it in the red zone, and enjoy your ride.