Utah Cyclocross Series Race #8 Debuts New Course at Mt. Ogden Golf Course
Photos by Ryan Hamilton and Chris See. Video by Sam Ray. Report by Ryan Hamilton.
By Ryan Hamilton
The temperature finally took a dip this last week and gave local cyclocross racers some cool weather, a nice change from the hot dusty races that have been run so far this year. The organizers of the Utah Cyclocross series pulled out a brand new course for the State Championship race on Nov. 13th. The race was held on the Mt. Ogden Golf Course. This meant grass, and lots of it. Many of the day’s racers had been expecting the course to be a mellow ride over small hills and around trees. The course that met riders when they showed up on Saturday was nothing like that. It was a true World Cup style course, long climbs, lots of off camber sections and fast sweeping descents. It was really the perfect course to host the Utah State Championship race. To top it all off, the Viewmont High School Drumline added some atmosphere to a day of exciting races.
After several flites of C class and age group racers the action turned up a notch when the Women’s A class took the line. All of the usual fast riders were there to contest this year’s state champ title. The race started and Kelsy Bingham took a clean holeshot into the first turn. After half a lap, perennial favorite Kris Walker had a lead of about 10 seconds on the chase group of Kelsy Bingham, Meg Plank and Erika Powers. The race would run like this for nearly the entire 40 minutes. Each lap Walker would add to her lead, eventually finishing the race with an uncontested 1st place. In the last lap Kelsy put in a hard solo effort and finished the race about 30 seconds ahead of the next closest competitor. The real race was on for 3rd. Meg Plank came into the final section just ahead of Erika Powers. Powers tried to go inside to cut ahead, but a big sprint from Plank kept her in front. Since Kris Walker is not a Utah resident this meant Kelsey Bingham took the title of Utah State Champ for 2010 and moved Erika Powers to the bottom step of the podium. Congratulations go out to all four of the top women for putting in a hard effort on a really tough course.
The Men’s A race took place in a similar fashion with a group of 4 taking charge and never looking back. The difference was that there was never a leader. Lap after lap Bart Gillespie, Alex Grant, Jason Sager and Keegan Swenson stayed together with each of them taking turns at the front. After 5 laps Swenson was dropped from the lead pack, but never let 5th place get close. Gillespie commented after the race, “All the riders in the group are very strong and with a course like this it was hard for anyone to really get out in front. If it had rained [and made the grass slick] it would have been a different race.” With the Viewmont High School drumline playing next to the barriers we saw Gillespie take the lead with 1000 meters to go. The crowd held their breath to see if he would be able to hold off the charge from Sager and Grant. Bart “The Beagle” kept on the pedals, flying around the 180 turn just before the finish line and took another state championship title. Grant couldn’t get ahead of Sager, and ended up 3rd to Sager’s second.
After the race and on the UTCX.net forum, comment after comment was made to Matt Ohran about how much everyone liked the course. It had its challenges, some were not big fans of the large climb that took place in the first half of the course, but all in all most really liked the change and the challenge.
Video of the Men's A's and Men's 35+ A's by Sam Ray
Video of the Women's A, B, C race by Sam Ray.
Video of the Clydesdale's, Juniors, and 35 C by Sam Ray
November 13 — Utah Cyclocross Series Race #8 at Mt. Ogden Golf Course, State Championship, Ogden, UT