Now Hear This, My Jingle Cross 2008 Highlights!

First highlight, me calling the action on the mic Saturday, the first UCI races I have ever announced.  After it was over I was complemented on my dry wit as well as my radio voice and told that if npr covered bike races I would be the guy to do it for them.  I’m good with that.  It was fun, I would like to do it again next year.  Sunday they had some mail carrier from Chicago drive over to tell people what was happening so I was free to spectate and cheer/heckle so that is just what I did.  And what a day to cheer/heckle!

The snow fell overnight and all morning, but it did not deter local cat 2 hardman The Wizard from going all Michael Phelps on that course.  His last descent of the monster muddy hill hole was the stuff of an inspirational after school special complete with music video animated life lesson sequence!  After a crash into the course fence on a previous lap which saw him ride off with my encouraging slap on the back handprint glowing white on his red shoulder he was resigned to safely running down the hill but we inspired him to try riding it again and he made it cleanly down (well, sort of) to the raucus cheers of the supportive fans!  Not as easy as it looks I imagine…

Friend and teammate Jim Cochran took the win in the masters 35+ on Sunday after a brilliant display of his running skills, tenancity, technical prowess and ability to ride past his puke threshold.  Here he is on the last lap descent of the aforementioned monster muddy hill hole with a rider hot on his heels.  That rider crashed on the descent and Jim rode it in for the win!

Kim Eppen continued her undefeated streak in cyclocross by winning both days cat 2/3 women’s events.  Ho-hum, ho-hum.

The snow stopped falling mid day and by the afternoon there was a good amount of soup around, and it is always nice to see muck boots at a cross race not in Belgium or Portland.

The elite womens race saw an amazing ride by Iowa rider (now at school in Colorado somewhere) Amanda Miller.  She rode the off camber downhill on the first lap when everyone else ran to get a gap and she never looked back.  By consesus she was the only rider all day to ride that section and looked the fastest /  most in control rocketing down the monster muddy hill hole, too.  At the staging of the elite men’s event I heard Steve Tilford talking her up pretty big and saying he could not ride the off camber pitch on his pre ride which I suppose is a meaningful complement.  In perhaps less meaningful complements, I think Amanda will get to be a pro bike racer if she wants too, she already has a stellar resume and it just keeps getting better, she is the real deal.

To the elite men’s race, then, which was dynomite to watch, top crosser Todd Wells put on his usual show of dominance and easily took the win (well, maybe it was not easy) and there were many great battles fought out through the rest of the places.  Brian Eppen and Sam Krieg went back and forth for a while and it was here, once again, on the last lap descent of the monster muddy hill hole that a race was decided as Brian roared by Sam and took a lead he would hold to the finish for a solid UCI point-bedecked 8th place!

After the race Brian confided in me that his wet hands were so numb he could not brake any harder and that is why he shot by Sam there.  He said he almost hit the barn (right behind all us spectators) every time.  But nobody did hit the barn all day long, even though a few brushed it.  If you check the links watch the video on Sam’s blog and if you are in a video loving mood, these three here are worth your time.

More additional highlights than I can type, K-Dubya’s gritty lap that saw him not just descending the monster muddy hill hole but eating a corn dog while doing it.  The guy in the masters 35+ who gave me the finger.  Cully Todd’s strong ride in the men’s 45+ which would have placed him top five in the men’s 35+ even though they started 30 seconds after.  Dave Meyer, winner of both day’s single speed races also rolling the 2/3’s the first day on his single speed and taking fourth.  Jingle Cross keeps getting bigger and it is great to see everyone that comes to town for it, check back next year for a new report or better yet, stop on by and be part of it all.

6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    DG said,

    NPR should totally cover bike races, and you should totally do it for them.

  2. 2

    Amanda said,

    Thanks for the kind words Steve! Awesome job announcing on Saturday too! It was an awesome weekend and I always enjoy coming back to Iowa to race. Take care!

  3. 3

    Gritty said,

    Dang. I miss Saturday’s festivities and more importantly, DJ Pickle. Maybe you can DJ me finishing up the Ragnarok after you have finished, showered, eat something, and drank a few beers?

  4. 4

    bikeiowa said,

    Holy macaroni Gritty, you are riding the Ragnarok too!?!?!?!? That is excellent, we will have a good time I hope. Anybody else from the area heading up? They have that stealthy list of entrants, I don’t know who I might know. I must agree it is too bad you missed the Jingle Rock Cross or whatever it was called but it is time to put all that behind us now and hit the skis!

  5. 5

    Gritty said,

    I didn’t completely miss Jingle Cross as I was standing at the bottom of the mud hill on day two for a few minutes until my feet started to get cold and the road was calling me home. Ski, yes, ski! A couple more inches and we will be good to go (that’s what she said).

  6. 6

    did anyone get the badge number of that UCI official?
    i don’t want him EVER to come back here.
    scolding the devil is a ticket out of town, where i’m from.

    shore do like your java bike!!

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