After a year off, we headed back to Sydney Park to see if cyclocross in Sydney still had a pulse. More than a pulse, the scene is alive and kicking, with hundreds joining us on the hill - despite the lashing winds and constant threat of rain.
It might have had something to do with the pop-up bar and selection of Bavarian sausages, fresh off the grill. Or that it was part of the Sydney Rides Festival, a fortnight-long extravaganza of two-wheeled action, put on by the city.
Either way, with a beer in one hand, a sausage in the other, and a cowbell draped around our necks, we were ready to make some noise.
NO SHOW WITHOUT (A LOT OF) PUNCH
Along with some rather strange get-ups, it just wouldn’t be CX without beer and sausage. Staying true to cyclocross’ Bavarian roots, we had both, served by a gentleman in a hairy-chested apron.
The open race is our favourite free-for-all – with both men and women duking it out on whatever bike they brang. For 2017, that included a unicycle. Chapeau, Ashley.
THE KIDS ARE A’IGHT
For the first time, the kids race was on the main course – covering the whole hill. They responded like pros, monstering the course for 4 laps to secure some sweet swag from Oakley.
Things generally heat up in B grade, as newcomers test their mettle against grizzled veterans. In his first CX race, Antoine showed the rest of the field a clean set of knobbys to record a maiden victory.
CHASING AMY (WELL, GINA)
With the A and B grade women racing together, the field was always going to stretch out. Luckily Gina was on hand to not only lead the A grade race, but help her fellow competitors up the hill!
IN CHRIS WE TRUSS
A grade men and we unveiled our latest innovation – obstacle truss. Thoughts quickly turned to who would be able to keep pace with local gun Chris Aitken. Enter Jayden Ward, who kept Chris honest, to take a close second.
With the racing over, the rain that had threatened all afternoon finally came, scattering the wind-chilled crowd. The podium presentations were improvised near the tents, with an ever-thinning band of valiant supporters to applaud each grade.
Below are the podium results for Sydney Park CX 2017. You can see the full results of all the racing here.
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