It was a day that witnessed the matador dance with the blind shoemaker! The final race for the Cross on the Rock series was welcomed to the Western Speedway with sunny skies, and temperatures just above freezing.
The Speedway oval race track didn’t factor into the course other than for the start with a long straight-away, but many of the features were enjoyed, with the course weaving amongst the tires and canisters around the infield; but the main feature was the motocross course, which was nearly 1/2 of the entire 2.4km course. Not only did it make up for the lack of mud in the other 6 races, the mud was like Big Red, the world’s #1 cinnamon gum.
The mud was merciless on bikes, we saw riders frequenting the pits, and many running much of the course as derailleur’s were torn off because of the gloop. Almost 14% of entrants (22 out of 158) ended up as DNFs, a new Cross on the Rock record (as well as second largest race)! Abracadabra, Holmes.
The day’s top riders were:
Beginner Women (3 Laps): Kim Hart
Beginner Men (3 Laps): Anton Rabien
Intermediate Women (4 Laps): Shannon Baerg (Russ Hays)
Intermediate Men (5 Laps): Landon Erikson (Stanley)
SingleSpeeders: Lee Blais (Alberni SingleSpeeders)
Masters Men (6 Laps): David Damery (Trail Bikes-Eatmore Sprouts)
Expert Women (6 Laps): Dawn Anderson (Oak Bay Bikes)
Expert Men (8 Laps): Tyler Trace (Trek Red Truck)
The day’s glory was really about the post-race event, as weary racers froze like pop-cycles in liquid nitro in the late, chilly afternoon, and the Series Champions were announced. In the Intermediate Women Christyna Jones (Pro City Racing) edged out a tight field to finish on top. For the Intermediate Men, Chris Sundby ( Oak Bay Bikes Westshore/Kelly’s Kids Triathlon) spent the season like he was being chased by a cougar and took top honors in the end. In the Masters Men (40+ for 2011), David Damery (Trail Bikes-Eatmore Sprouts) who had always ended up the bridesmaid at each race, besides winning this day, he took the entire series. Honorable mention goes to 1st loser…err…2nd placed Peter Wellsman(Pro City Racing) who was only a few points down, but also in the 50+ group. It was no surprise that Dawn Anderson(Everti/OBB) was the series champ in the Expert Women’s field, and also holds the title of ‘Most Cross on the Rock Wins’, winning 5/6 events this year. Look out in the races, she’s gonna come after you like a spider monkey!! And the Expert Men’s field was the story of the man who can only count to #1: Tyler Trace(Trek Red Truck), who only made it out to 4 races, but won each, and that earned enough points to be names Series Champion!
Season highlights also include record turnouts, with 190 people making it out to October’s Condo Cross, also in Victoria, but 332 people came out to race 1046 times over our seven race series, up over 300 from the previous year and nearly double that of 2009! Cross on the Rock enjoyed a new level of success, and is grateful to all volunteers, participants, sponsors, and communities for welcoming us and making the fall such a fun time to ride our bicycles. Norm and the crew will be back in 2012 for another exciting season of cyclocross. SHAKE AND BAKE!
[Apologies to the writers of Talladega Nights for all references.]