Gates Carbon Drive

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Team Gates Carbon Drive Belts it Out at Primalpalooza, Bags Some Podium Time Against the Geared Competition

  October 5, 2012

Primalpalooza has quickly become a classic of the Colorado cross racing scene. Team Gates Carbon Drive toed the line at the event last Saturday and took podiums in the Singlespeed and Women’s Singlespeed categories, while putting in strong results against the geared guys in the Men’s 35+ race. The team was back on Sunday for even more podium-time at the Adrenalin Cross race in Highlands Ranch.

Ryan McFarling leads Mitch Westall through the crowds in the 35+ race

There were lots of comments at Primalpalooza about the growing fields of Colorado singlespeeders, and the strength of the riders. We had four of our own strongmen in the race, with Jesse Swift, Garrett Davis, Taylor Jung and Tim Lucking taking the start with about 20 others. The race was strung out from the gun, and Jesse found himself in a group chasing the lone leader. Just behind, Garrett and Taylor worked to stay close and pick off the others around them.

Jesse Swift chasing hard through the turns!

With Jesse’s group in the lead, one rider attacked and pulled away for the win, while Jesse attacked the remaining riders and took second place. Close behind, Garrett and Taylor rode in for 6th and 8th places, and Tim finished 11th.

Tim Lucking coming into the off-camber section at Primalpalooza.

Next up, the team brought another four strong riders to the Men’s 35+ race, with Mitch Westall, Carlos Casali, Ryan McFarling and myself pinning on numbers. No doubt it was going to be a tough course against the geared guys, between the long straight and tight sections of traffic. I got stuck in the traffic right from the start, and struggled with my group, being slowed in the technical sections, and getting passed in the flat straight. But up front, Mitch, Carlos and Ryan had a much better race. Carlos drilled the pace at the front, and though Mitch was initially stuck in traffic with me, he blazed through the field, moving up during the entire race. Ryan held his position towards the front, trading blows with the group around him, eventually catching Carlos. Mitch still wasn’t done, and kept moving forward, until ultimately finishing just off the podium in fourth place. Carlos and Ryan weren’t far behind coming in 11th and 12th; a great showing for the team proving that you don’t always need gears!

There were lots of dusty twists and turns on the Primalpalooza course.

Late in the day Cristina Begy toed the line for the Women’s Singlespeed race, which she led right from the gun. Continually stretching out her lead, she was all alone at the finish line, easily taking first.

Cristina Begy won the Primalpalooza Women's SingleSpeed race!

Sunday the team was a bit quieter in numbers, but not in presence as Mitch Westall and Carlos Casali traveled south for the Adrenalin Cross 35+ race. Squaring off against a slew of strong regulars, all on geared bikes, Mitch wasn’t going to get stuck in traffic again, and attacked from the gun. Soon he was part of a group of four, but the top two guys were able to stretch their legs with higher gearing, leaving Mitch and the other rider. Mitch attacked his companion, setting off on his solo chase. While he didn’t manage to catch the leaders, he soloed home for a strong 3rd place! Barely a minute behind, Carlos rode hard and pulled of an 8th place.

Mitch Westall takes 3rd in the Adrenalin Cross 35+ race!

This might have been one of the last warm and dry race weekends in Colorado. With cold temps, snow and rain in the forecast for the races in the high-country this weekend, the team is looking forward to some classic cyclocross weather–perfect for Carbon Drive.