The light-blue of Team Gates Carbon Drive rolledthrough two muddy and slippery coursesas Mitch Westall and Jesse Swift took turns standing on steps one and two of the podium last weekend.The rest of the teamfilled the front end of the race.
A mid-week storm dumped several inches of wet snow on the Front Range of Colorado, just in time for slightly warmer weekend temperatures to melt and bring some muddy cyclocross conditions! Saturday’s course was at the scene of many epic battles, the Boulder Reservoir. Fairly flat, the course has a constantly changing surface:bumps, long sandy sections, logs, pavement,mud. A great day to not have dangly-bits, like derailleurs, hanging off your bike.Things got tricky as the course evolved over the duration of the single speed race.
Just a few laps in,Jesse Swift, Mitch Westall and one other rider were separated from the pack, trading places back and forth as everyone struggled to find the best lines in themud. Bunny-hopping a barrier section gave Jesse the advantage, and he got a gap on the other two thathe held to the finish. Mitch held on to second with a safe gap, and behind it was nearly all Gates Carbon Drive as the team took seven of the top ten spots.
Sunday switched to a technical, fun course with a massive staircase, berms andheavy sticky mud.The popular venue and sunny skiesbrought out huge crowds.Once again it was Mitch and Jesse at the front.When Jesse’s bike got tangled up in themud, Mitch kept the gas on to keep the team up front. Mitch crushed it on the hill to hold on for the win. Jesse recovered for second place and Derek Strong took4th. Overall, the team put five in the top 10.
After screaming herself hoarse cheering on her teammates, Cristina Begy lined up against some ofthe fastest elite UCI women.She hammered and was herusual smiling self the entire race, despite having just one gear.