The Gates Carbon Drive Cyclocross Team continued to roll strong this past weekend and put in huge performances for both days of Frisco Cross 2010!
Located in Frisco, CO with a wheezing elevation of 9,500ft, Tim Assor and Scott Borque of High Country Racing always put on an awesome two days of racing. They have a great venue, and do an awesome job of creating two distinctly different courses, usingsections ofgrass, pavement, dirt trails, sand, an evil woodchip section and worst yet; a section ofpea-gravel you’ll dread every lap.
Saturday had a great turnout, with no shortage of big horsepower lining up for the start. The pleasantries quickly ended when the whistle went off and the race started with a vicious pace, racing up about 200 meters of dirt trail, into the woodchip rhythm section. A little split happened, with Carlos Casali and Garrett Davisgoing, while I led up the group behind, with Ben Olett right with me. It was a good split, and I was happy to sit back and keep an eye on things. About halfway through the race, Mark Thompson (no stranger to single-speeding, including a win at the Breck 100 this year) took off on a flyer, opening a big gap. But Garrett and Carlos were able to work together, steadily clawing back the gap.
About this time I was starting to feel stronger and was able to attack and distance myself from the guys I was with, and began trying to chase back into the race. Not far behind me, I could see Ben working hard, and riding smoothly and consistently, working his own way forward.
At just one lap to go, the three were all back together, and Gates had the upper hand on numbers. Again working as a team, Carlos and Garrett took turns attacking the other rider while the other covered, until Garrett threw down a huge attack and sneaking away to open a big gap for the win!
Carlos was free to just follow, until it was his turn to pounce, and he attacked to ensure second place. I was happy to crank out 4 fast, smooth laps, riding faster each lap, and finished up in 4th or 5th (results were unclear). And Ben rounded out the top 8 on a tough course with nowhere to rest.
Sunday’s race saw a slightly smaller field, but the course definitely wasn’t any easier! Gates had Mitch Westall, Derek Strong and Carlos Casali lining up for the race. Also there was our friend Matt Pronovost, who the team was eager to face again after his great ride at Cross Vegas. Again, the race was incredibly fast right from the whistle, and Mitch was off without looking back! Carlos found himself between groups, chasing Mitch, while Derek was in the group behind with Pronovost.
Looking to strengthen the group, Carlos slowed for the group behind, until he and Derek could set about working together to pull apart the group they were in. Before long, only Pronovost could match the attacks of Derek and Carlos and the group was three. Pronovost had no option by to chase Mitch, who was smoothly flying ahead.
Once he had made his move, Carlos and Derek were once again able to show the strength and teamwork of the Gates Carbon Drive Team, as they attacked and counterattacked until Derek was off on his own, then followed by Carlos who had shaken off Pronovost. And the race finished up just like that… three Gates guys in the race, and three Gates guys on the podium with another sweep!
Amongst the team this weekend, the Spot Mod SS bikes with Gates Carbon Drive had another 7 races, and even with the hugely varied terrain, massive accelerations and even long paved climbs, the bikes worked flawlessly! It’s been great the last few weekends as well, watching the single speed field grow in both numbers and talent. It’s also a lot of fun to see the interest that the carbon drives generate and talking to the riders before and after the races. No doubt, there are a lot of riders realizing that this is an incredibly effective drivetrain and a tempting alternative to the traditional chain!