QTMTB's Carey Vivian just sent through this nice little writeup on the round two of the Cross National Series held in Queenstown this past weekend.
Similar conditions to race 1 prevailed for race 2 of the OSM Cyclocross (also Race 2 of the National Series); a frosty hard-packed, frozen course, with ice covering the water features. After a late start due to timing issues, we started off with an TT that was won by Katie Compton and Dan Warren.
With temperatures soaring in the upper single digits, it was time to get wet. In the TT we let riders keep their feet dry, as we didn't want them to get hypothermia before the main event. However for the main event we taped off the dry chicken runs, leaving no option but to get wet feet after the first person broke through the ice. About fifty riders competed in the main race, which included a ‘Specialized Spiral’ adding a minute or so to the previous race times.
USA Cyclocross professionals Mark Legg-Compton and Katie Compton lead the men's and women's fields from the start. Mark was hard pushed by Dan Warren (Hastings), until both were overtaken by Alex Revell (Wellington) and Logan Horn (Christchurch). Alex eventually took out the men's race ahead of Logan in second and Mark in third place. Local favourite Gavin Mason (Wanaka) ate too many pies this week and ended up breaking his seat post in half (but still managed to keep the OSM Series jersey). Dan Warren took possession of the National Series jersey.
Katie was chased by Kim Hamer-Hurst (Wellington) and Anya McDonald (Dunedin), but was too strong for her New Zealand rivals and the females finished in that order. Kim retained the overall National Series Jersey and Anya is leading the OSM Series.
Lots of spectators lined the course and shouted encouragement to all riders, along with plenty of peer pressure to ride through the icy water features. A fantastic venue and atmosphere prevailed for race two of both series.
Mark later described the course as the most technical he has ridden in a long time, but also: "The course is the most stunning in the world. The backdrop is from Lord of the Rings, just add CX into the recipe and it'll make for mind-blowing experience."
Mark's CX contacts around the world should ensure we get many professional visiting and racing in New Zealand's National Series in the future.
On the Saturday before the race Mark and Katie held a skills clinic. Amazing. Who would have thought the key to cyclocross was running tyres at 18–25psi? There is so much to learn about this sport and Mark and Katie are great teachers. They are doing a clinic this Saturday afternoon on the Hastings course. Definitely well worth going along no matter what level you're at!
Race 2 results on www.nzcyclocross.co.nz soon.