Queens Cross wrapped up Vancouver Cyclocross Coalition and the Lower Mainland Cyclocross Series wrapped up on a high note on Sunday.
The venue, set in a huge park in the heard of New Westminster, has been a rider favourite since being added to the calendar several years ago. This year, the hype was strong leading up to the return of Queens CX, in part because it was series finals and rain was in the forecast.
It’s not hard to understand why the venue has quickly established its reputation among west coast racers. Off camber sections of deep grass quickly turn to muddy bogs at the slightest hint of precipitation, meaning even in dry years the lower section provides the slippery technical challenge and constant “ride or run” decision making that makes cyclocross so challenging.
Add a wildly fun upper course that winds through huge, widely spaced trees, and you have a potent mix of pure enjoyment and classic “challenging” cyclocross condition. Oh yeah, and the bandshell in the center of Queens Park is an ideal location for a covered beer garden with a wide view of the course. This year Four Winds was pouring their excellent cycling theme’d Vélo “sport beer.”
In the men’s race, Nathan Killam (Mustache Mafia Racing) used tri background to ride and run to the elite men’s win. Raphael Lalumiere (Broad Street Cycles) followed just 24 seconds back. Brett Wakefield (Team Giant Vancouver) rounded out the podium in third.
Kelly Welbourn (Steed Cycles) was the Queen of Queens Cross, taking the elite women’s win. Welbourn had a 1:12 advantage over Joele Guynup and Cannondale p/b/ Fortius’ junior racer Lilly Ujfalusi.
After Queens Cross racers had a chance to head home and clean off from the muddy course. Many then reconvened for the annual VCXC series wrap up party. While no photo’s emerged from this, but there are rumours it involved some serious karaoke performances.
Elite Men just after "Go" Image: Hung Mai Photography
Elite Women off the start. Image: Hung Mai Photography
Annabella Stoll-Dansereau (Cannondale p/b Fortius) flies on foot in the Junior women's race
Nico Petch (Living Corpses) through the upper woods in Queen's Cross
Keely Hammond (Victoria Wheelers) and Christine Barr (Crossroad Racing) race through the barriers in Intermediate women
Andrew Summers (Mighty Riders) giving it approximately 100% through Queen's upper woods.