The 2014 Cross season welcomed another brewery based race in the “foam” of the Sly Fox Cyclocross Race. Right there on the grounds around the brewery in Pottstown, PA, the race proved to be a tight and twisty technical affair with fine beverages and excellent spots for spectators.
The course was very tight, meaning it fit into a very small footprint of land around the brewery, but still offered a steep descent/ascent and a good bit of twists and turns to keep it very interesting. There were also two very good straights for drilling it to pass others.
The ascent out of the woods offered racers two options: A log staircase to carry up or a small, sloppy stretch of mud to ride up. I think only one racer in the elites made it almost all the way up without dismounting (Lone Wolf Hal, if I recall).
The only point of contention on this otherwise beautiful fall day, was the grouping of too many women’s fields together for one staggered race. Laura Van Gilder, I believe she’s won more races than any other woman in American Cycling, found herself stuck amongst spectators and crashed into one in the woods. While other women were braking at inopportune points to avoid colliding with junior racers that were also on course. It made the women’s time to shine feel thrown together. The always eloquent Selene Yeager sums it up better than I.
Let’s not let that stop us from offering up a hearty cheer to the folks at Bikesport and Sly Fox for offering up a welcome addition to the cross season. We hope the race returns in 2015 and look forward to having at it again.