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  Maureen Bruno Roy racing athe HPCX Cyclocrosss Race in Jamesburg, Nj  

The Beacon Cyclocross and HPCX cyclocross races are two of my favorites in the Mid Atlantic Series. The courses are completely opposite from one another but are both well run and challenging. Matt and I also commented several times, often quizzically, “Wow, the Mid Atlantic folks are really nice!” Everyone was super friendly and seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. From the courses and the promoters, to our host and the competition, it made for a great weekend.

Friday afternoon we headed to Highland Park, New Jersey to stay with our friend Mark and Massimo the cat. It was the first time we had arrived to host housing on a Friday in the day light, so we took a nice walk around the quaint neighborhoods before heading home for dinner, relaxing and race prep for Beacon Cross.

Day 1

Many of us think of New Jersey as all that ugly, miserable, post-apocalyptic industrial mess we see on the Turnpike. Bridgeton, New Jersey however, is pretty much the opposite. With large open farmlands and a wooded park and zoo where the race was held, this part of the state would change anyone’s opinion.

The weather was unseasonably hot for October/November with temps in the 70’s and what I would call 200% humidity. I was pouring sweat warming up on my trainer and knew it would be a tough day on the flat, fast, relentless course. Off the start I moved into second position trying to match the accelerations of Mary McConneloug, but she was having none of it. The pace was like a time trial on the road with the only “recovery” being the 50-meter run in the sand or bounding up the amphitheater. I generally love the running bits and could make up small amounts of time there, but I remained chasing in second place through the finish.

That night I got to hand out Halloween candy to the kids in the neighborhood. There were tons of people around all the little streets and it was a perfect warm night to sit on the porch.

Day 2

It had rained all night and there were rumors of mud on the course, but I had to see it to believe it. The hilly, technical course often drains so well that even a night of rain isn’t enough to make it messy. Arriving at the venue, however, we could see bikes covered in sticky mud and the cool, overcast skies meant it would likely stay that way all day.

The paved start transitioned onto the dirt quickly and I made a move to the front of the field to work through the first few muddy climbs. I was able to ride steadily through the mud and a technical running section until I collided with an awkwardly placed course post. As I untangled my self, I was passed by another rider and had to quickly make up time to catch back on. Through the next mud bog, I moved back into the lead and kept pushing the pace. The mud was especially thick alongside the mechanical pits and most riders had to run those sections. Instead, I took advantage of the clean bike Matt had ready for me and swapped twice a lap, keeping my momentum and riding through the pit lanes. I kept my pace steady and was able to keep the lead, taking the win for the day. As an added bonus, I moved into the lead for the MAC Cyclocross Series.

Next up, we head to the happy valley for two days of racing in Northampton, MA. We’re looking forward to a Friday night at home and a relatively short drive. The courses in Northampton are always lightening fast and with no rain in the forecast, it’s going to be a scorcher! Check out this nice race preview on Podium Insight.

Thanks for reading.


Cyclingnews - USAC Cross Standings

Cyclingnews - Day1

Cyclingnews - Day2

Velonews - Day1

Velonews - Day2

MM Racing 2009 Calendar of Events:

11/7+11/8 CycleSmart Cyclocross Northampton, MA
11/13+11/14 USGP Mercer Cup Mercer, NJ
11/21+11/22 NACT Whitmore’s Super Cup Southampton, NY
11/28+11/29 Baystate Cyclocross Sterling, MA
12/5+12/6 USGP Stanley Cup Portland, OR
12/12+12/13 USA National Championships Bend, OR


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