The 2014 Michigan Cyclocross Season is off to a bumpy start - literally - with the induction of the Alma GP. While the rough course is stuff of bleeding hands and legendary heroes, the layout and execution by Brian Hancock and his volunteers was fantastic! What was a former dump for the city of Alma had been transformed into an idyllic cyclocross venue with a number of embankments, two "Superprestige" sections, and a fun little set of Belgian steps. Clearly, Brian and his crew spent some time figuring this one out!
|Tyler Trask makes it look easy in the Men's Cat 4.|
In the Men's Cat 3 race, a sketchy start left me about 15 places back and in the danger zone as riders were falling left and right. The rough and technical nature of the course favored mountain bikes to CX and so I focused on cornering and clearing the barriers smoothly. Being the second race the corners were starting to soften up and I chose to take a wide line for better traction. The two places I deemed safe to pass were the barriers with a long run between and the front straightaway near the start/finish where the road was well packed. Every lap I'd get one or two riders in these sections until I worked my way back up to 4th, but by this time the leaders had a significant gap. Thankfully Brian Kearns made the break and held on for 3rd. 1st and 2nd went to the fat tires which could better deal with the shocks and stresses of this new venue. Crossing the finish line I ripped my gloves off to reveal massive blisters. Tom Barrett helped patch me up before we went to the start of the Cat 1/2/3 and Masters race.