Team Gates Carbon Drive ruled the playground at this weekend’s School Yard Cross Race in Brighton, Colorado, with a top-six sweep. Jesse Swift took the win, followed by five teammates.
Another mid-week snow storm followed by sunny skies led to a slow and muddy race on Saturday. GPS data shows it was the slowest course of the year due to spongy conditions. Those soft conditions were the determining factor as everyone quickly spread out and worked to limit mistakes when it was slippery, and hold position through hard work. Jesse Swift was gone like a shot right from the gun, Mitch Westall on his tail. Behind, the entire Gates team moved up and around everyone who got in the way. Unfortunately, Taylor Jung had a hard crash in the bunny-hop section but did an awesome job toughing it out to finish the race. At the finish it was Jesse Swift, Mitch Westall, Derek Strong, Taylor Nye, Chad Melis and Brian Hutchison in the top six spots, with Tim Lucking and Taylor Jung putting in strong showings.
Looking for more training, Jesse Swift and I showed up for Primalpalooza on Sunday. I showed up early to line up in the 35+ race against the geared guys. The cold temps kept the mud frozen, but as the sun came out, so did the mud. It was a great course, and the Gates belt drive was amazing in the mud, but two fast gravel sections suited the geared bikes. After getting up to 4th place at one point, I had to settle for sixth at the finish. Jesse raced later in the singlespeed race, where the mud made the course super sloppy. Again, the belt drive was amazing, and Jesse’s bunny-hopping skills were too, as he was able to clear one set of barriers that no one else could. This along with some clean riding helped him sail home with the win to make it a perfect weekend.