The Cycle University Varsity cyclo-cross program will once again be taking on the Northwest cyclo-cross circuit for 2012. All of these riders and support personnel have been recruited for both their professionalism, ability, sportsmanship, attitude, committment to the sport, and the ability to work in a team setting.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

SCX #2/Steilacoom

On Sunday, the Cycle U - PopCap Cyclocross Team headed down South to Steilacoom just southwest of Tacoma for round #2 of the Seattle Cyclocross Series. The venue is one of classic status in the Northwest 'cross scene and includes punchy climbs, pavement, fast turf, and greasy corners.
Near high noon, team riders Sean Kelsey and Chad Berg lined up in the Elite Masters field with both getting front row starting positions. Within the first two turns, both Kelsey and Berg were in good positions in side the top 10. A group of 6, that included both Berg and Kelsey began to ride away from the rest of the field. It wasn't long before riders in this group began attacking one another as the intensity escalated out on the course. By the second lap, Berg was forced to ride his own race as he was having difficulty maintaining the blistering pace. Meanwhile, Kelsey continued to work in the group and finished the race with a solid, consistent 5th place. Out in "no man's land", Berg got a second wind and fended off a pack of hard charging riders from behind to come in moments later in a solid 6th place.
In the Elite Women's race, things finished very similar for team riders Kristi Berg and Melanie Lewis. With Berg leading shortly into the first lap, it was a good sign that there were definitely signs of her regaining her top usual form. As the race settled in, Kristi was passed up by three other riders to find teammate "Mel" Lewis moving up. Still working off a "bugg" she had been ailing from over the week, Lewis knew the day would be a tough one for her. Fortunately even though the lung crud was still present, her legs felt good and she made contact with Berg. Together the two Cycle U - PopCap teammates worked beautifully together to maintain a good pace to out distance themselves from other riders looming behind. After working a couple of laps together, Berg told Lewis to go ahead, and with that encouragement, Lewis turned it up a notch and headed off alone chasing. Berg maintained her position for the remainder of the race and finished in 5th while Lewis finished just ahead in 4th. Both women raced a solid and smart race and continue to improve on their form as they both recover from "the crud".
Director Sportif, Chad "Papa" Berg stated - "its great seeing these two as teammates and working very well together and each having a genuine concern for the other's position during the race. I'm really excited to see what they are able to accomplish together as we are continue on in the season. They are both strong 'crossers that have a ton of respect for eachother and I think they are really enjoying being teammates".
Next stop on the circuit, is SCX #3/Silver Lake in Everett. This course is very technical with lots of grade changes and a long deap sand section on the beach. The Cycle U - PopCap Cyclocross team will be pre-riding the Silver Lake course as a recon on Friday, to prepare for the big race on Sunday.
Stay tuned.
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