Monday, December 6, 2010

If you weren't at Burns Park on Sunday... missed out.  Simple as that.  Competitive Cyclist put on a State Championship race worthy of the name.
Photos courtesy of Rob Karman
A crowd of racers, family, friends, and curious onlookers enjoyed freshly deep-fried frites (with mayo and ketchup, of course) provided by the race organizers, brats courtesy of The Pantry, and root beer on tap courtesy of Diamond Bear.  The course was fast but tough, with lots of tight turns, a couple of fun, short, and steep drops, a swoopy groomed section of the Big Ballin' Dirt Track Classic race course, a short trip through the playground woodchips, and the confounding Spiral of Death.  The weather, clear and brisk; the atmosphere, congenial.

To top it all off, the Men's A race was an epic knock-down-drag-out mano-a-mano battle that people will be talking about for a long time.  From the first lap, it was clear that local favorite Noah Singer and Jonesboro's Nate Rice were the class of the field.  They were a contrast in styles, with Nate cutting a smooth, classic profile while Noah mashed a big gear and bunnyhopped through the playground woodchips.  Nate repeatedly attacked and gapped Noah, only to have Noah fight his way back up to his wheel.  Spectators were openly wondering when the string on the yo-yo was going to break, and it certainly looked like Nate had things pretty well wrapped up midway through the last lap.

Improbably, Noah started reeling him back in during the final trip through the section of switchbacks on the main lawn.  With 300 yards to go, Nate dismounted and portaged through the woodchips, but Noah bunnyhopped through them and immediately pounced on the pedals, barely catching and then nosing ahead of Nate before the final turn.  Noah managed to maintain that lead to the finish line as the crowd went nuts.  Both guys were absolutely at their limit and put on a great show.

There will be more images, both still and moving, landing here in the next few days.  Complete results are located HERE.
Photos courtesy of Rob Karman

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