Monday, October 09, 2006

2006 Gunni-Cross

The past weekend saw nearly a hundred riders converge on the Western State College of Colorado campus in Gunnison over Saturday and Sunday, for the seventh annual Gunni-Cross, part of the ACA Cyclocross points Series. The Western State campus provided the picturesque backdrop, for these two beautiful, but painful bike races. Day one was spent directly on campus, utilizing many of the natural features and landscaping to make up a fast, twisting and turning course. Lap times for most classes were in the 4:30 to 5 min times, but the pro men tossed a few sub 4:20 laps in.

Winning the always competitive Masters 35+ category was Tim Faia of Breckenridge, Colorado on board his IF over former National Champ Karl Kiester. Both rode a steady pace together, sharing the work at the front, then with two laps to go, Faia made a move on Kiester on the tight techinical section on the backside of the course, putting a few seconds between the two leaders. Kiester was not able to close down the gap, leaving Faia alone for the win. The singlespeeds was won by Gunni-Cross Organizer and Promoter, Ken Bloomer, riding for IF, while wife and teammate Sandi Bloomer took a close second in the Pro Womens race to Stef Ward. Both Bloomer and Ward hit the dirt once, with Sandi sliding out around the fast sweeping bend after the start/ finish, and Ward dumping it around the hairpin on the backside of the course. Ward eventually was
able to gap Bloomer, and hold a steady 15 sec lead over the closing laps for the win.

Defending GCX champion, Alan Obye, fomer U23 National Champion, came back up to Gunnison from Colorado Springs to defend his title against Mike Hall, both of whom threw down some seriously fast lap times. Obye opened it up with four to go, for which Hall had no response. Obye not only claimed the win, but to the 'Holeshot Award' for leading the opening lap.
At the end of the races on Saturday, Ken Bloomer presented WSC President Jay Helman and Wells Fargo bank President, Sandy Curtis, each with a golden cowbell for their long standing support of this event.

"We are very fortunate to have the support of both of these two (Western State College and Wells Fargo) organizations, who have been there since the inception of this event," Ken said during the presentation, "Western State has been very generous with letting us use their great facilities to construct the very best cyclo-cross venues in Colorado, and Wells Fargo has stepped up every year with financial backing to ensure that this events continues and grows."

The skies opened up overnight, and Sunday's race would be held on the soggy and slick Western State athletic fields. Durning warm-up, it became clear the riders who could survive the trechorous downhill hill on the sledding hill, would most likely win the races. This was most apparent in the both the Masters 35+ and Women's Pro races were Tim Faia and Sandi
Bloomer, both riding for IF only went down once during their respective races while their competitors had a bit more difficulty. In the Masters 35+ second place finisher Karl Keister went down 3 consecutive laps on the steep up - down features of the course, allowing Faia to open a :15 second gap that would hold to the finish. While Bloomer went down on the first lap to avoid an already fallen and sliding Stef Ward. Ward would go down again in the same spot on lap two, allowing Bloomer to build an unsurmountable gap of around :30 seconds that would build to over a minute by the finish and to cruise home in first. Both ladies laughed about the conditions and said they had a great time on the challenging course.

Sunday would be a repeat of Alan Obye and Mike Hall giving a 'cross clinic, turning the fastest laps of the day, and lapping the rest of the field in the Pro Men's event. Obye once again won by turning on the gas about three-quarters of the way through, with Hall rolling through in second.

Riders were estactic at the quality of the venues that Gunni-Cross offer up, claiming these are not only the best venues in Colorado, but that of National and National Championship level courses. The Crested Butte - Gunnison Junior Nordic Team gave away a pair of Salomon Carbon Skate skis and provided a lot of volunteer hours make Gunni-Cross happen, raising a
couple of hundred dollars for their program in the process. 2007 dates are already set for October 13 & 14, and organizers are looking into possible National & World Cup point options.











Saturday - GCX WSC Campus Tour
SM45
1st Brook Watts - Spike
2nd Jim Everett - Simple Green
3rd Brett Wave - Simple Green

SM 55
1st Al Marvin - Poison Spider
2nd Eric Nordenson

SM 35+ Cat 4
1st Torrey Carroll
2nd Reid Ackerman - Cody racing

SM4
1st Darren Cheek - Racers Edge
2nd Adam Rachubinski - Bicycle Peddler
3rd Jamie Ryan-White - KHS

SM3
1st Ward Baker - Rocky Mounts - Izze
2nd Jared Roy - Vitamin Cottage
3rd Travis Lukens - Red Rocks Velo

Single Speed
1st Ken Bloomer - Independent Fabrications
2nd Colin McKeirnan - Organic Athlete

SW 35+
1st Kayla Thomason - Schwab Cycles
2nd Sheila Senft - Colovita

SW Pro
1st Stephanie Ward
2nd Sandi Bloomer - Independent Fabrication
3rd Emilie Pavolovich

Masters 35+
1st Tim Faia - Independent Fabrication
2nd Karl Kiester - Spike
3rd Bryan Miller

SM Pro
1st Alan Obye
2nd Mike Hall - SRM
3rd Cory Carlson - Rocky Mountain

Sunday - GCX WSC Athletic Fields
SM 35+ Cat 4
1st Reid Ackerman - Cody racing

SM4
1st Darren Cheek - Racers Edge
2nd Jamie Ryan-White - KHS
3rd Michael Tobiassen

SM3
1st Travis Lukens - Red Rocks Velo
2nd Garrison Schulte
3rd Jake Lueckel - Bianche

Single Speed
1st Charlie Hayes Harshman Wealth/ Primus Mootry
2nd Colin McKeirnan - Organic Athlete

SW 35+
1st Alisabeth Thurston-Hicks
2nd Kayla Thomason - Schwab Cycles

SW Pro
1st Sandi Bloomer - Independent Fabrication
2nd Stephanie Ward
3rd Sandra Korr

Masters 35+
1st Tim Faia - Independent Fabrication
2nd Karl Kiester - Spike
3rd Bryan Miller

SM Pro
1st Alan Obye
2nd Mike Hall - SRM
3rd Hawke Morgan

3 comments:

random said...

Thanks for a great weekend of racing! You put on the best races in the state.

gwadzilla said...

is that a shot of Tim Faia taking the barriers?

any more shots of Tim I can steal for my BLOG

he is an old buddy of mine

thanks
-zilla

sda said...

nice weekend of racing down there. thanks for taking the time to put on such a great event.

cheers!!