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Cross Crusade off to record start

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

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watch slideshow below
(All photos © Jonathan Maus)

The 2007 Cross Crusade kicked off in fine style yesterday at Alpenrose Dairy. Race organizers reported that a record 1,078 racers took part in the action (that’s up from 760 at the same event last year!).

The course was a challenging mix of bumpy downhills, tight turns, and obstacles.

Earlier this week, Race Director Brad Ross told me he had concerns about the capacity of the course to handle so many racers at once. From what I heard (and experienced while racing myself), it all worked. Most people I spoke to said they had a great time out there.

One of my favorite parts of the day was seeing the huge kids field. From tots on trikes, to aspiring studs, they all attacked the course with gusto.

Once again, the work of local bike builders could be seen everywhere. I noticed frames by Joseph Ahearne, Ira Ryan, Tony Pereira, Sweetpea Bicycles, and a new Portland-based builder, Matt Cardinal.

Frames by Portland-base builders.

Luckily, the dreaded “run-up” section was dry; but it was still a tough grind. Some riders blasted up the short, steep hill, but most grimaced and carried their bikes to the top.

The many faces of pain.

The day’s action came to a climax with a thrilling finish to the Men’s A race. Perennial superstars Shannon Skerritt and Erik Tonkin battled it out for the entire race. It the end, Skerritt pulled away from Tonkin in the final few turns of the velodrome finish.

I happened to snap a photo of Skerritt, pensive and anxious just before the race and then got this photo of him after the race. Now that’s a well-deserved smile!

For lots more action (both on and off the course), check out my photo gallery or sit back and watch the slideshow below.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

But wait, there’s more! Check out video of the event by Dan Kaufman and Rev Phil over on CrankMyChain!

And stay tuned for more cyclocross coverage…the Crusade continues next Sunday at Horning’s Hideout.