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Nashville Cyclo-cross series #2 and #3 - Nashville, Tennessee, November 4-5, 2006
The second and third installments of the four-race Nashville Cyclo-Cross Series were completed this past weekend at Two Rivers Park and Seven Oaks Park. The Two Rivers' race held Saturday saw the series' highest attendance of the year to date. Many out-of-town competitors stayed in Nashville for the third race of the series, held Sunday at Seven Oaks.
Saturday's participants were greeted with sunny skies and mild, albeit windy conditions. The course was an undulating, 1.9-mile lap made of 75% grass, 20+% pavement, and a small, challenging sand section. The layout and design of the park resulted in a plethora of views available for spectators. Those who arrived to watch the event were able to stand in some sections of the course and see over 70% of the action.
Jonathan Craig (TriStar) continued his winning ways in the Juniors category. Dale Tillman (Outdoor Chattanooga) also maintained her two-race win-streak. In the Men's CX 4 race, Dustin Greer (Maxxis/ Wood N Wave) maintained his position in the lead group through the entire race and won the thirty-minute event. The Men's CX 3 race featured an early battle for the lead that included Everette Herring (Birmingham Bicycles), Evan Hyde (Cumberland Transit), and Josh Beckham (Team Allanti). Beckham pulled away from Herring and Hyde to hold on for the win.
The Men's Masters 35+ race saw eleven riders arrive at the start line. Todd Clifton and Kenny Marshall, both with the Columbia Cycling Club, outpaced the rest of the field, resulting in Clifton taking the top podium spot and Marshall finishing in second place, nine seconds behind. The Women's Pro/ CX 1/ CX 2 race featured Becky Walter (Sorella Forte), who was unchallenged in one of her first races back since the birth of her son, Everett. The Men's Pro/ CX 1/ CX 2 race included Travis Werts (Gran Fondo), Dustin Greer, and Trent Long (Gran Fondo). Werts led from start to finish, averaging 6:40-7:00 minute laps on the day, to take his first win of the series. Long finished in second place, and Greer finished third.
As is often the case with cyclo-cross racing, a new day resulted in a completely different course, and, at day's end, many different faces atop the podium. The 1.5-mile-long Seven Oaks course featured one pair of temporary barriers, a couple long, slow, grass uphill sections, one long, paved uphill section, and a popular, technical, heavily-wooded section that included a log and railroad tie run-up (or, ride-up, for some). The goal of this course was to complement the prior day's layout. The Two Rivers course heavily favored riders with a road background and a knack for grinding up longer, steeper hills. It was cleaner, and much less technical. The Seven Oaks course was designed to keep riders on their toes, with many turns, twists, and sections featuring gravel, dirt, mud, and a short sand section. The venue change proved to be welcome by 'cross-racers with a strong off-road background.
Gabe Long (KnoxVelo) walked away with top honors in the Kid's-under-12 race, trudging through the thickest, most technical part of the course, following a full-lap warm-up. Jonathan Craig (TriStar) kept his perfect record in tact, by winning unchallenged in the Juniors race. The Men's CX 4 race featured a strong, late-race surge by eventual winner, Bill Moore (Columbia Cycling Club). Stefan Swecker (KnoxVelo) finished second, and Adam DeGordeyn, a popular wrench from nearby Allanti Bicycles in Brentwood, TN, finished third. Cliff Lippard (Team Army) continued his most-unusual-streak-of-the-series alive by finishing ahead of three competitors again for the third consecutive race.
The CX 3 race included an impressive, hard-charging run by Birmingham Bicycle's Everette Herring, who fell short of victory, in part thanks to a late-race flat, yet was able to hold on to third place. Evan Hyde (Cumberland Transit) finished nine-seconds ahead of Josh Beckham (Team Allanti). The trio was followed by Jarrett Kinder (Memphis Velo), who was sandwiched between four riders from Team ReMax/ Yazoo: Justin Mitchell, Thad Hoffman, Troy Foster, and Sharp Emmons. A smaller, 35+ Master's field proved beneficial to the prior day's first- and second-place winners. Todd Clifton and Kenny Marshall, both with the Columbia Cycling Club, finished in the same order as the prior day, only with Marshall finishing ten-seconds behind, versus the prior day's nine.
Becky Walter (Sorella Forte) returned for her second win in as many days, racing unchallenged in the Women's Pro/ CX 1/ CX 2 field. Eight riders lined up Sunday afternoon for the Men's Pro/ CX 1/ CX 2 race. The lap times remained in the high-6:00's and low-7:00 minute area for the bulk of the men's race. Although the group stayed together through the first lap, a split on the second lap resulted in a three-man breakaway that included Dustin Greer (Maxxis/Wood N Wave), Troy Tucker (Bike Gallery), and Russell Griffin (Los Locos).
A second group, made up of Gran Fondo's Cayce Tiesler (riding a single-speed mountain bike with like a 32 X 16), Trent Long, and Travis Werts, remained within twenty seconds of the lead group for the middle third of the race. Werts flatted on an early lap, and was not able to re-connect with his teammates. While Greer was carving paths through the thick sand section and Griffin was hopping the railroad ties and logs, Tucker continued a steady pace throughout the race. The last three laps featured an exciting chess match of sorts between Greer and Tucker, with Greer taking the win on the final, paved stretch. Griffin maintained his position, and was followed by the remaining Gran Fondo duo and a host of other competitors.
The curtain falls on the Nashville Cyclo-Cross Series on December 9. The last of the four-race series takes place at Cedar Hill Park in Madison, TN on the second Saturday this December, and will feature fewer uphill climbs, more natural barriers, and a quick jaunt in-and-out of the foundation of a former building.
Local results 2006