SoPo went to Alabaster, AL which is just South of Birmingham, to race in BiCi Coop’s Cyclocross Cup race. The race was also the Alabama Cyclocross State Championships.
Back in Alabama to race and again on December 15th for BamaCross’ Sloss Cross. We just can’t get enough cross and as a bonus, we get to race with our good friends at BiCi Coop. And since this is their race, we just had to show up. The race was at Barton’s Greenhouse and Nursery which made for a great venue to race in. There were greenhouses to ride through, punchy hills, false flats, fast sections, and some technical hairpin turns. This was definitely a fun course with a good mix where an all-around rider would do well.
The course starts with a long uphill straight in a grass field that kicks up at the end to a left turn. A couple of turns later, still going uphill past the team tents, was a fast section, definitely the fastest section of the course. This leads to a 90 degree right turn, a couple of hairpins, and then an uphill section leading through a barn. Some technical turns leads through a greenhouse. Coming out fast through the greenhouse and downhill to a low lying railroad tie. After that, it was winding through a grass field, then uphill, a mix of punchy climbs and false flats which leads to a short fast downhill to a hairpin and a set of barriers. Uphill and then downhill for 3 more hairpins goes into a sand section. After that, it’s a left turn to the starting/finishing straight.
Does this give a good description of the course? Good because there are a couple of sections where it really made the race. In the CX5 race, Kevin flew the SoPo flag. The race immediately strung out. The holeshot winner who also won, was cruising away on a single speed geared 42×17. 2nd, 3rd, and 4th were pretty close, all within sight of each other. As the 30 minute race rolled on, the distance between the 3 would expand and contract. At the railroad tie, Kevin and a couple of others were bunny hopping it.They also powered through the tricky sand section. In the end, Kevin stayed in his big ring and rode to a solid podium finish in 3rd place. SoPo High Five!
Through the barn.
In the CX4 race, Corny lined up in the second row. In the drag race up the hill, the group stayed together as it approached the first left turn. This led to a couple of stray elbows as riders fought for position. A group of 7 sped off for the 45 minute race. Those behind that group tried to chase but were too spread out. On the first lap in the technical turns after going through the barn, Corny misjudged a turn and was passed by a handful of racers. He soon passed a couple back and was leading through the next lap. At the fastest section of the course, another racer blew by him so fast without warning and a very close call pass. Corny followed his wheel for the next couple of laps and figured out that the racer switched into his big ring on the fastest part of the course. It was fast but had enough grip to not wipe out. Corny would use this to his advantage for the rest of the race.
While losing time getting off his bike and jumping over the railroad tie while others bunny hopped it, Corny made up for it on the uphill and false flats. A lap later, Corny passed the rider in the sand and powered through the start/finish uphill section to pull away. He rode steady passing a couple of more riders along the way. On the last lap a couple of turns from the finish, Corny picked it up and raced hard through the hairpin before the barriers. The corner was already loose and his front wheel washed out and he went down. Corny picked up his bike, got the chain back on and hurried away from the rider behind him, putting in a little more time in the sand. He furiously pedaled for a hard fought finish for 7th place.
Through the sand.
As of note, we saw a couple of familiar faces from the GA CX series racing in Alabaster. We made a lot of new friends. SoPo High Five to BiCi Coop.
And more of note, Kevin was on the podium during the medal presentation and they asked him if he was from GA or AL. Uh oh, wrench in the works. But really, the podium places wouldn’t change. Only the top placing AL rider would be the Alabama State Cyclocross Champion. And the guy on the singlespeed who won was from AL; controversy avoided. Kevin kept his 3rd place podium position and earned a sweet medal for the state championships.
It was a great event on a great course. Thanks to BiCi for putting on the race. We hope there are more races at this venue. It was a great day of racing.
Kevin through the barn as he passed another racer in the darkness.