The Spooktacular BamaCross race at Sokol Park in Tuscaloosa was another great event put on by Velo City Pro Cycle and Druid City Bicycle Club. The weather started out a bit frosty but warmed nicely as did the racing.
Mick & Alan went at it in the Cat 4 race and showed well. Alan went off hard with the leaders and hung tough for the first lap, at the start of lap 2 he was in third and looking good. As he climb the hill to the ball fields he slowed and lost a couple of positions, by the time he enter the woods he was pretty much out of gas and just trying to hang on. With one lap to go and in 5th place he managed to make it back to the woods still in 5th and figuring he could save what he had left for the final sprint to maintain his top 5. Well not so fast my friends about half way through the woods with riders right on his tail that were ready to make a pass, Alan did everything he could to take up every inch of trail to keep them behind, but lost control in one of the turns and slid out. Two riders were quick to go by, as Alan jumped back on, not lose another place he noticed his chain had dropped and while fixing it lost more ground. Chain back on and more riders coming he went back at it and was still able to bring home a 9th place.
Mick had a good start, mainly by not having a teammate take him down in the first 200m. That was short lived as the first lil climb came and riders started piling Mick had to dismount and wait for them to sort it out. Undeterred he kept his wits and pushed on. His handling skills aided him well as other less skilled riders were going down. Once in the woods again being behind a group of riders who just couldn’t handle the tree roots he was caught behind a small pile up. As he came around for the start of lap 2 he was looking good and moving up. By this time thankfully things were getting strung out and he was maintaining a good pace and battling it out with Ken Burst of Team Momentum. Lap 2 saw Mick & Ken go back and forth all the while picking up places, as they came out of the woods and headed for the finish line it looked good for Mick only 200m left, well out of what seemed nowhere a rider came sprinting hard catching him by surprise and taking him by inches at the line. Mick still had a good 20th place and made huge gains over the first race.
Stewart toed the line in the Cat 3 race. He was quick at the gun and 9th wheel going into the first turn, as he made his way through the first set of jumps and switch backs he was able to grab a few spots and move up to 5th. As the laps went by he settled in to a good pace and was riding mistake free. With two laps left he was sitting in 7th and battling two riders. One rider was pulling away on the flats but Stewart would reel him back in on the technical spots and the other rider was just maintaining his spot. As they went into the woods Stewart got by the one rider and was putting good distance on him and gaining on the other rider. As they came around for the final lap Stewart was right behind Boris and had David by about 100m. As he started the final lap the first section had a switch back then three uphill barriers just after a 90 degree right turn. Funny thing about those corner posts, you can go by them 20 other times and it’s like they don’t exist, but it only takes a few inches to remind you that they are and take you down as this one did to Stewart. As he regained his legs and getting his chain back on he lost ground and was being gained on. With his hips and back stinging he knew he had to push on and suck it up if he had any chance of a top 10 finish. Through all this David had caught him and he did everything he could not to lose too much ground to him. As they hit the woods for the last time Stewart gave it all he had and was able to close the gap and was right there to possible regain the spot. As they came out of the woods Stewart gave it all he had left but David was just a bit stronger. Still after all that he finished in 7th and showed that even though this is his first season in cross he is a contender.