70s and sunny, glorious 70s and sunny! After several years of temperatures near 90, Mother Nature gave cyclocross racers lovely weather at the Grant Park CX race. Once again, Brady Rogers made a course that had a little bit of everything-technical, off camber, climbing (a lot of this), Dutch letters on Heckle Hill, and some flats for recovery. Big crowds lined the front side of the course. Loose Nuts and L5 Flyers provided hand ups and cards that could be exchanged for prizes. On Heckle Hill you could hardly hear because of all of the cheering and cowbells.
Twelve Women’s Cat. ½ and 3 lined up for the start. Several SCAD racers entered to help prepare for the Collegiate National MTB Championships. Mackenzie Myatt (Cyclesmith Cycling Club) took off and got the hole shot into the opening turns. Brittnay Parffrey and Anna Christian (both SCAD Atlanta) were hot on her heels. With the opening lap, Mackenzie put several seconds on the SCAD duo, although they were not far behind. Neither ever caught Mackenzie, who took the win. Brittnay was in second and Anna in third. In the Women’s Cat. 3, Junior Sophie Zents won over Trisha Van Dusseldorp (Bike Law Cycling Club). Elanor Finlayson (ACR Cycling) was third.
In the Men Cat. ½, the field got spread out pretty quickly thanks to the twisty start before hitting the faster off camber. Denzel Stephenson (SCAD Atlanta), Nick Van Winkle (The Paceline Project), Cooper Hammarlund, and Hank Beaver (The Paceline Project) put a few seconds into the chasers. The last 3 are normally seen at the pointy end of the Men’s ½ race. Denzel suffered an unfortunately timed flat with about 2 laps to go. Although he was able to get to the pit, he was not able to chase down the leaders. This would allow Nick to distance himself from Cooper and Hank with that trio coming in for 1, 2, 3.