Words: J. Dunn | Photography: J. Dunn | Date:
It’s that time of year again. Despite what people may think, the cyclocross season is already underway with this past weekend witnessing the first happening in the new series of Rapha Super Cross, now expanded worldwide with events in Japan, the UK, Australia and here in the US of A. Hosted in the Seattle area, StarCrossed has been around for a number of years, credited with bringing the European talent to the States and serving as the first opportunity for racers to start their engines.
This year was not a disappointment. Here are a few things that we took note of at StarCrossed: A Rapha Supercross Event:
Venue & Course
The MFG Cyclocross duo of Zac Daab and Terry Buchanan know how to put on a race. Food vendors and a beer garden set up on the infield of the Marymoor Velodrome with one side of the garden in full view of the barriers, while the top edge of the velodrome allowed spectators to see the majority of the course.
The Elite races kicked off in the dark, one of the best features of StarCrossed. Not only do the riders deal with a dewy, darker version of what they had ridden earlier, it also adds to a more dramatic aesthetic to the racing. Plus, the racing happens during peak drinking time…
Elite Women (Win #2)
Gabby Durrin (yes, folks, we can officially call her that now) stormed to a monstrous lead early in the Elite Women’s race and was never seen again. After a tough final lap the weekend before in the Nittany Lion Cross race on the East Coast, Gabby was looking to put a more positive spin on the weekend. Her win in Seattle also put her in the lead on the Pro cyclocross list ahead of her compatriot, Helen Wyman.
Note: Rapha’s North American Head of Finance, Abby Watson, took home the prize in the 30+ Women’s race early in the day (win #1), setting the tone for Rapha on the day.
Elite Men (Win #3)
The Pacific Northwest plays host to any number of professional cyclists. The Giant racing duo of Adam Craig and Carl Decker were here with their newly minted cross bikes. Ryan Trebon and the green hue of his Cannondale CyclocrossWorld.com kit were on hand to dish out a few late race attacks. And who could forget the Belgian, Ben Berden, and the local Raleigh Professional Cyclocross team. Not only did Berden lead the first lap (presumably to show off his newly acquired barrier-hopping skills) but he and his new teammate Jamey Driscoll, along with Allen Krughoff, did the majority of the work in keeping the front end of the race animated.
The most excitement came about in the fourth lap of the race: Berden led into the barriers and the crowd made a high pitched whine in anticipation. But it was not to be as current US National Champion Jonathan Page gave a lean and a twist that sent Berden flying into nearby spectators. The whine turned to a roar as Berden gracefully sprung back into action and began his hunt for the stars and bars. Was it on purpose? No one seems to know, but a fine in Swiss Francs and a post game apology from Page seems to suggest that his antics are now a part of his newly crowned title.
Neither Ryan Trebon or Jeremy Powers could be bothered with these things. In fact, they seemed to use the confusion that was happening to make their way to the front and start to distance themselves from everyone else. But the end of the race was not without calamity as well.
When Trebon and Powers rolled through the finishing straight for their final lap, they would glance at the number board only to see the ‘2’ that was there on their last lap… Somehow the officials had forgotten — presumably themselves locked-in on the fierce action — to change the lap counter.
When it was almost done and dusted, Powers led Trebon into the final straightaway, this time with a corrected digital counter that cheerfully read “You are finished.” Powers was the first over the line to take his second StarCrossed title.
Then, it was all smiles and champagne as Powers, Trebon and Berden (who had bested Page for third) took to the podium as the crowd whined once more.
The Super Cross family of races will continue throughout the season with races in the UK as well as Japan and Australia making it a truly international series.