Almonte report and Alberta ‘cross round-up

The Fiera Team has a great race last Sunday in the first of two OBC cyclocross races to be hosted in Almonte.  This was due primarily to the fact that Evan was sporting a brand spanking new cowbell in the Fiera cheering section.  In fact, Evan now has his choice of three different cowbells, each tailored to provide optimum cheering according to course conditions, rider fatigue, etc.  At some future point we will definitely get him to provide a review of each for this website.

Beautiful fall day for a race (photo credit Dave Sangster)

The Almonte course was excellent… throwing everything ‘cross has to offer at the gathered racers.  Sand-pit? Check.  Mid-hill barrier? Check.  Muddy single-track over slippery roots through the trees?  Check.  Run-up slippery, mud-covered stairs fashioned from rocks hewn from the Canadian Shield?  Check.  Snow-pit courtesy of the zamboni in the adjacent hockey rink?  Oh yeah, bring it.

Naomi looking focussed on the stair run (photo credit Dave Sangster)

For Naomi’s race, Evan and I set-up the cheering section on the steep hill right before the finish.  This turned out to be a perfect spot, as it featured a small section, right beside a large oak tree, that had a dramatically different angle than the rest of the hill… and this caused several riders to bite the mud right in front of us.  It also placed us in the perfect position to ring those cow bells like crazy as Naomi out-sprinted one of her rivals to take second place in the women’s Master A category in what was probably the most exciting finish of the day.

And while Naomi continues to improve and move up the standings, I found myself consolidating my position… finishing 17th in the men’s Master A category and 34th overall for the second week in  a row.

Meanwhile, despite what you may think given the lack of reporting here, the Alberta crew has been busy jumping barriers out west.  Here is a round-up of that action, pieced together from the results on the Alberta Bicycling Association website and photo’s posted on Dave’s flickr site.

1.  Darren and Jan are kicking butt in the Sport Category, each besting the other in a couple of races.  Darren collected a win in Calgary at the Dark Knight Cross and has also had a couple of 4th place finishes.  Jan meanwhile bested Darren at the Red Cross and has consistently finished in the top 10.  They both also look very nice and relaxed in the all the pictures… clearly they need to go harder.    Also, Jan needs to figure out how to spell “Fiera“….

Darren looking too clean for a cyclocross race.

Jan also looking clean. I have decided that white jerseys are much less of a concern for the Alberta crew than here in Ontario given the apparent lack of mud.

2.  Derrek, having decided the Fiera kit matches his cross bike (a steel blue Brodie Voltage) much better than the kit of that other team he has been known to associate with, is also rocking it in the Sport category.  Maybe we can get some blue crayons out and go to work on his mountain bike…

Derek looking good in the Fiera colors. While you can't see from this picture, they match quite nicely with his cross bike. Need to do something about those gloves though...

3.  Shari appears to be racing women, men (at the Dark Knight Cross), and little boys (at the GP Jim Horner CX).  When she is racing women, she is consistently top 10.  She also appears to be asleep when she races.  Perhaps she would do better if she didn’t race after her bedtime.

I'm tired...

4. Joe is holding his own in the Expert category, having been upgraded from Sport last year.  However, I have to wonder if perhaps he would be a little faster if he worried less about looking sexy, and more about dropping the hammer.

Too Sexy!!

(Almonte photos via Dave Sangster here)

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