Raccoon CX

Gary Dugovich put on another great cross race just outside of Pittsburgh that drew some top notch competition. There were many from the Cleveland area that raced and many from the Pittsburgh area also. It was nice to see many from our area travelling to support another promoter. The course was pretty much the same as the previous course that Gary and his Beaver Valley Velo team had designed with only a few changes. It was very hard in places and fast and technical in others with a sweet stepped run up in the woods.
I raced the Masters 40+, but it was a combined 40, 50+ with both groups getting scored separately. Rudy, Jeff C., Gunnar S., Derek were all lined in the front group with some guys that I have never raced with before. Gary said go and we all took off fast. The usual suspects went to the front and set a fast pace and after a couple laps it was narrowed to 5 in the lead group and then it sorted out from there. In the end I finished 5th overall and 2nd. 40+ in a 15 man Master field. Gunnar Shogren won, Rudy, Jeff, Derek and me, not bad and I even made a few clams to go with it. After our race was over Jeff and Rudy opted to race again with the 3,4's and both were in the money in that race also, wow, nice job going back to back, and after winning the 50+ Masters.

Scott raced the 3-4 field and did well. He wasn't quite used to that pace for 50 minutes but will get more used to it as time goes on. He raced strong and finished fast. After the finish he collapsed in the grass as do so many of us after a hard race and said that the finish was the best part of the race, I could only agree.

Tony did the 1,2 race and although he raced strong, his legs weren't quite up to the task. He was racing well for half the race but the speed and power that the 1,2 field was laying down was a little much. He backed it off and rode consistently to the finish. Matt won the 1,2 race in style. He rode completely away from everyone and showed us all that he is the force in cyclocross this year. He came across the line with hands raised high and didn't even appear to be breathing
hard. Very nice job Matt and congrats on a great win over a very strong field.

Thanks to Gary for the race and hopefully he'll have it again next year. Also looking forward to the Chagrin River Challenge and racing both days this weekend. Bring it on!

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