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, November 8, 2011

S.C.X.#5/Steilacoom V2

Last Sunday the Cycle U - PopCap Cyclocross Team once again headed down to Fort Steilacoom Park for the 5th stop on the Seattle Cyclocross Series.
At 12:15, the men started off on the fast tacky course. This included Evan Renwick in the Elite Men, and Sean Kelsey and Chad Berg in the Masters 1/2 race. After the first lap Evan was having a great race inside the top 10 and riding strong. After a couple laps, Renwick veered slightly off of the course and struck a large tree. It took him a bit to get back together and was able to continue on to finish a respectable 12th place.
Kelsey and Berg were sitting in a chase group of four just behind the leaders when Berg was forced to pit after hitting a large hole on the descent causing his bars to pivot downward. The bike Exchange was very smooth, but because of the pit location, Berg lost 15 seconds and was forced to give chase. Meanwhile Kelsey dropped the group and came in 5th place. Berg eventually caught back on and outsprinted Mafia Racing's Beltramini for 7th place.
In the Elite Women's race, team rider Melanie Lewis got the hole shot as the women snaked around the old red barns with teammate Kristi Berg sitting in 4th. At the end of lap one, Lewis was in 2nd, ten seconds behind 1st, and giving chase. Berg playing loyal teammate, stuck to the wheel of 3rd rider, Jessica Cutler of Cuccina Fresca, as to not aid in pulling up the strong sprinter to Lewis who was now on full on throttle to close the gap to the leader, Courtenay McFadden of Cycling NW. Every lap, Lewis took 2-3 seconds out of the gap, looking stronger and focused every time through the start/finish. With one lap to go, Lewis caught McFadden and immediately attacked opening a 20 meter gap. As the two emerged from the trees back down to the grassy infield, McFadden was back in the lead with Lewis locked to her wheel. As the two made it onto the pavement finishing straight, McFadden began her sprint. Lewis timed it to perfection, and in the final meters came around the right side throwing her bike at the line to win by a mere six inches. Lewis had won!
After the race while celebrating and enjoying champagne with her teammates, Lewis stated, "I certainly didn't have the legs to blow away my competition so I had to be smart and patient and sneak one in whilst no one else was expecting it......Finally!"
Congrats to Lewis on her first win of the season and kudos to Berg for great tactical sense looking out for her teammate.
Both Lewis and Masters racer, Kelsey now firmly sit in 2nd place overall on the SCX series.
Next weekend, the team heads to the MFG finals at the Woodland Park Grand Prix in Seattle where Lewis and Kelsey also each sit in 2nd overall in their respective classes.
Wish us luck!
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