On Sunday October 30th, a sizeable contingent of the Squadra Coppi “Azzuri Sporca” made the trip to Severna Park, Maryland for the 2nd year of Kinder Cross, which is part of the new “Sportif Cross Cup.” Despite the rain/snow of Saturday, the course was fairly dry with three VERY notable exceptions including one big puddle that grew over the course of the day.
Taking a short break from his usual entry in the 35+/45+ 123, Scott Thompson lined up in the 3/4 35+ along with up and comer Adam Austin. Scott reports that with no series points and a late registration, he started with number 253, somewhere in the 4 or 5th row. The course had LOTS of turns which worked well for him and he was able to rely on handling and guile where his power is a little lacking. After making his through the field, Scott finished 8th overall, though results breaking out the 45+ subgroup weren't available at the race and Scott’s place in that group isn’t yet clear.
In the Men’s cat 3/4 race, 14 year old super junior Jake Thompson, recently upgraded to Cat 3, lined up with Coppi’s own killer-B super duo -- Brad Evans and Kimani Nielsen -- and freshly minted although not yet officially announced secret Coppi Eric Blomquist (welcome Eric!). Also with no series points, they were all starting in the thick of the scrum. Jake barely survived a crash in the first 100 yards, running over someone’s carbon wheel, while Brad and Kimani flowed to the right around the crash. Jake rode well and was knocking on top 10 when he hit a hidden hole in a deep, cold puddle which endo’d him into the muck. He ran to the pit with a bent shifter, which lost him more spots than the crash. He chased back for the next two laps and passed a few more people, finishing 20th with Eric hot on his heels. Meanwhile, Kimani went from the complete back to the front chase group. The series leader was way off the front, taking advantage of his front row starting position. Despite also taking a mid-race dip in the muddy pond, Kimani rallied and triumphed over the small chase group to finish 3rd. Brad, claiming to lack power, used his New England upbringing super powers to stay just a few meters behind Kimani’s chase group for seemingly the entire race. After bridging to the group once, Brad trailed off in the last two laps but finished with a strong 6th. Eric was right with Jake at the finish, near 21st.
Starting one minute behind the 3/4 , Rookie junior Luke Klaussen lined up in the 15-18 race. He started great and was leading after the first lap but then had a hard fall on a tricky off-camber muddy section and lost some spots. He rallied, however, and finished on the podium at 3rd.
In the premier event of the day, Coppi’s own recent transplant from California, Dave Pederson, lined up with a packed field of Cat 1s in the Elite 35+ race, including former national champions and ex-pros. Dave battled well and was beside himself with the joy of riding in 40 degree water and mud instead of the warm dry climes of California (we’re not sure he’s quite sane).
Next week….a return to the MABRAcross Super 8 series and the fabled Lilypons of the Ed Sander Memorial race.