The Canadian National Cyclocross Championships were held November 10, 2018 in Peterborough, Ontario on a well designed, fun course in Canadian conditions. The riders battled snow, mud and wind. It is impressive to see how far cyclocross in Canada has come in the last 40 years, since Mike Barry Sr. organized the first cross race in the country, and perhaps North America. (click here to read more about that). Decades ago, few riders had specific cross bikes and most rode their road bikes with whatever knobby tire they could fit in the frame, even fewer had proper shoes with studs and nobody had a second bike in the pits. The races are now a professional affair. The pits are full of bikes and mechanics, or parents, working away washing the mud off the bikes with the power sprayers provided by the organization. The start-finish area is barricaded to hold the spectators back, a banner with digital live timing is mounted on scaffolding across above the finish line and an announcer bellows out live commentary as the riders hammer away. To keep warm between races, there was wood fired pizza, soup, beer, coffee (provided by our friends at Grupetto Cafe), and an expo area to see the latest Shimano, Smith and Cannondale products.
Each race throughout the day was exciting and entertaining as the riders were slipping and sliding their way around the not only technical but also physically challenging course. Cyclocross is perhaps the best live spectator discipline in cycling as the races are short, action packed and easy to view from different vantage points. From a rider’s perspective they are also some of the most as fun and challenging bike races as they require most of the skills to make a complete rider: bike handling, sprinting, and endurance. Most importantly, who doesn’t like getting muddy?
Team Mariposa was spread across most categories from U13 to Masters to Elite and had a strong showing with Bas Stroomberg, Jack Ciotlos, Peter Morse, Pary Bell and Ashlin Barry competing in their respective categories. Ashlin won the U13 race and every rider, at the front or back, challenged themselves in tough conditions. The photo gallery by Jonny Hines captures the essence of the day.
Ashlin Barry on his way to first place in the U13 race.
Peter Morse on a muddy run up.
Jack Ciotlos on steep and slippery run up. For the junior race, which was later in the day, the snow and ice melted and turned the course into slick muddy mess.
Finding traction on one of the two challenging run-ups.
Jumping barriers in the snow.
The descents were as steep as the climbs and were slick with either ice or mud.
Remounting after a muddy run-up.