All racing at PGP Motorsports Park is rain or shine, even the two-wheeled non-motorized kind as the 268 riders taking part in the Single Speed CycloCross World Championship and the 548 MFG Racers found out on Oct. 25.
The fun-loving crowd of bikers turned out in various costumes — Bigfoot, a bunny rabbit and a chicken were among the tamer outfits — and despite the weather all greatly enjoyed the food, music and vendor displays as well as the action on the course. Many riders lost their racing bibs on the course or had them covered up by mud; some resorted to using a marker to write their numbers on costumes or bare skin.
“PGP Motorsports Park had everything: helpful staff, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, and the course equipment used in karting that worked nicely for cyclocross,” said Zac Daab of Low Pressure Promotions, which put on the event. “The expo area for vendors had a very village-like feel; vendor row was nicely spaced, had plenty of visibility, and was housed on nice, firm and flat pavement.”
A pair of Canadians, Wendy Simms for the women and Drew MacKenzie for the men, survived cool temperatures, pouring rain, gusting winds, a little hail, mud and even some sunshine to wear the champions’ belts and golden bathing suits. Both are also expected to get SSCXWC 2010 logo tattoos as well.
Wearing a black mullet wig, MacKenzie, from Victoria, B.C., earned his third SSCXWC title by holding off a late charge from runner-up Walton Brusch of Portland, Ore., and third-place finisher Mitch Westall of Littleton, Col.
Simms, from Nanaimo, B.C., was a winner twice on Sunday, edging Kari Studley of Bothell, Wash., by less than 15 seconds for the SSCXWC title with Bridgette Brown of Portland, Ore., finishing third. Earlier in the day during the MFG CycloCross Single Speed Race that served as the last-chance qualifier for the SSCXWC, Simms had a much more comfortable lead en route to victory in the Women’s Elite (Geared) category, finishing two laps up on runner-up Kristi Berg of Arlington, Wash., and Jenni Gaertner or Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
In the Men’s Elite (Geared) class of the MFG race, Logan Owen of Bremerton, Wash., edged Saloman Woras of Winthrop, Wash., at the finish line. Owen, Woras and Toby Swanson of Renton, Wash., who rolled across the line in third place just 3 seconds later, were the class of the field while racing in a pouring rain.
A hybrid sport combining the fitness of road riding, the technical bike-handling skills of mountain biking and the finesse of running all in a 45-60 minute event, PGP’s cyclocross course followed the contours of the hill around the facility as well as man-made obstacles at track-level. To add to the mayhem that is cyclocross, spectators around the course pelted the riders with water balloons and beer provided by
race sponsor Pabst Blue Ribbon.
“The venue was tight, technical, and spectator-friendly — you could see the entire event from one vantage point,” said Daab. “I hope we are invited back in 2011.”