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The 2011 Colorado State Cyclocross Championships course at Rhyolite Park in Castle Rock demanded full throttle from competitors during the entire race. The start and finish areas lay in a bowl surrounded by hills partially covered in snow. Riders set off from the park’s entrance up a long climb on the road that one racer described as twice the distance of a typical sprint start. Once in the park the course snaked up and down a hillside then continued to one of the most challenging aspects of the course, a steep flyover on one side of the finish line. Riders frequently crossed wheels and limbs near the top when those they followed couldn’t ride it all the way up and clip out fast enough. The course then dipped into splashy mud and rose to closely spaced barriers which led to the back-side of the course. Riding under the fly over, through the finish line, then alongside the pits, the riders faced a run-up that most rode to return to the top half of the starting climb.
The three kilometer course design took the racers near the finish area three times each lap, treating spectators there to multiple views of the riders. Adventurous spectators who crossed the course glided and sank on the wet, porous earth dotted with clumps of grass. The course included several paved pathways. Off the pavement riders pedaled through conditions ranging from muddied grass to peanut butter mud and soupy puddles. Conditions worsened from Saturday to Sunday as rising temperatures melted more snow into the already saturated earth. Brady Kappius raced Saturday and Sunday, and found the course more wet and muddy on the second day when, he said, “Bikes were much more wrecked. Changes helped a lot!”
The roller-coaster ride combined with the variable mud created an extremely challenging event that strung out competitors along the course. Nicole Duke, a new member of the Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com team, won the women’s open category. After crossing the finish line she described the course as the hardest she had ridden all year. “It was brutal. I was dying the whole time,” she said. “There was no rest.” Duke said all the climbing made it hard, but even the flatter sections were tough because of the boggy conditions. “It was a pure power course,” she said.
Yannick Eckmann riding for Pearl Izumi/Shimano won the men’s open competition. Based on his comments after the race he seemed to enjoy the course because it suited his bike handling skills in the mud. “I didn’t have a good start, but I got my rhythm when it got muddy,” he said.
*** Location Change ***
Where: Rhyolite Park
1701 Crystal Valley Pkwy
Castle Rock, CO 80104
RACE RULES—All ACA Rules Apply PRE-REGISTRATION AVAILABLE AT PRERACE.COM
All racers must present their current ACA license at registration, otherwise one-day ACA licenses are available for $10. ACA waiver will be printed for pre-registered racers. ACA waiver must be signed by all racers or parent/guardian or anyone 18 or under. ACA CX racing age is your age as of 12/31/12. Call-ups are 10 minutes before start and based on 2011 CO Cross Cup Standings. Races will not be re-scheduled due to inclement weather. ACA Timing System will be in use and transponders are REQUIRED, rental transponders available (DMV license/CC required as collateral deposit). No transponder – no results.
To be eligible for Colorado State Championship medals and/or vest you must hold a current ACA Annual License and must have continuously resided in Colorado for the past six (6) months