It’s mid-late November – that means we’ve hit the final month of ‘cross season here in the DC area. While Nationals are not that far away this year in Asheville, NC, most of us will be hanging up our ‘cross bikes by mid-December. Time to get some racin’ in while it’s still possible.
For many of us on Crosshairs, Tacchino CX is a preferred race on the calendar. Its location at Rosaryville State Park in Prince George’s County,which is close proximity to the eastern sections of DC, make it an easy trip even for the early races. It’s a course that is neither flat and easy or brutally difficult – a pleasant mix of rolling hills and tight turns. There is usually plenty of tasty Ommegang beer and sometimes a suitcase of sausage (both meat and vegan varieties).
I was unable to make it to Tacchino this year, but many Crosshairs team members did race and had some good results. Libbey Sheldon was on the podium in the Elite Women’s race, finishing 4th. Kimani Neilsen grabbed another podium, with a 5th place in the Mens 35+ 1/2/3 race. J Dove snagged a top 10 with 9th in the same race, while Josh Gorman got 7th in the 35+ 3/4 race. Another top ten for Mike Zoeller in the Mens 55+, finishing 8th. Matt Parse finished just off the top step with a 2nd in the Mens 45+, while Crosshairs put two on the podium in the SS race – Bentley Brooks in 4th and Jon Carney in 5th.
The next weekend, November 14-15, was a double Sportif/Super8 weekend with South Germantown Cross on Saturday and Rockburn on Sunday. Mark Cavey lead the way on Saturday with a 4th place finish in the Mens 35+ 3/4 race. Matt Parse had another 2nd place in as many weeks in the Mens 45+ and Mike Wynnyk had a top 10 in the Mens 55+, finishing 7th.
Rockburn Cross was the next day – a staple on the calendar with a great course and very mild temperatures this year. Libbey Sheldon’s race was the highlight of the day, winning the Elite Womens race from the whistle; she never trailed the entire 40 minutes. Other highlights include a 2nd place for Neil Irvin in the Mens 4/5 race as well as top 10 for Ryan Newill in the Mens 35+ 3/4. Kimani Neilsen had a strong showing in a deep field, finishing 7th in the Mens 35+ 1/2/3, and Mike Zoeller got his second podium of the year in the Mens 55+ with a 5th place finish.
The weekend before Thanksgiving gave us the last double weekend of the DC-area ‘cross calendar. This year, Winchester Apple Cross was a two day affair, with the first day part of the Sportif Cross Cup while the second day was a Super8 race. Rain earlier in the week created muddy sections on the course and temperatures were brisker than they had been in the previous weeks.
Day 1 highlights include a win for Matt Parse in the Mens 45+ race and a 3rd place podium finish for Kimani Neilsen in the Mens 35+ 1/2/3. Mark Cavey almost got on the podium with a 6th place in the Mens 35+ 3/4 and Mike Wynnyk got a solid top 10 with a 7th place finish in the Mens 55+.
The course changed on Day 2 but still included the infamous Wall and a number of other difficult features. Libbey Sheldon lead the way with a 4th place in the Womens Elite, her 4th podium of the year. Alex Alfano got 9th in the Junior U19 race, his 4th top 10 of the year. Kimani Neilsen and Ryan Newill both podiumed in the Mens 35+ 1/2/3 and 3/4, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively. J Dove and Mike Zoeller finished just off the podium in their respective races – Mens 1/2/3 35+ and Mens 55+. Each got a 6th place result. And Taylor Jones returned to the podium, with a 5th place in the Singlespeed race. Danny Koniowsky finished with his best result of the season, 7th in the Singlespeed race.
Only 3 weekends left in the ‘cross season, with Turkey Chase next weekend in Taneytown, MD. But most Crosshairs team members will be gearing up for the last big local race of the season, the Capital Cross Classic on December 6th in Reston, VA.