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That Dam ‘Cross Race heats up a chilly Ontario afternoon at the Pittock Conservation Area near Woodstock

Held near Pittock Dam, a location for cyclocrossers described as "infamous," That Dam 'Cross Race wheeled out on under chilly, blustery conditions at the Pittock Conservation Area in Woodstock, Ontario on Saturday, October 3.

Siobhan Kelly
Siobhan Kelly
Siobhan Kelly, seen here competing in Winnipeg in November, 2014, prevailed in the Elite Womens’ class to take the win. Photo: David Lipnowski

Held near Pittock Dam, a location for cyclocrossers described as “infamous,” That Dam ‘Cross Race wheeled out on under chilly, blustery conditions at the Pittock Conservation Area in Woodstock, Ontario on Saturday, October 3. Previously known as the London Riverbend Cross, the event — about an hour west of Toronto — draws a roster of southern Ontario’s best cyclocross riders.

The course was a challenging mix of terrains, ranging from the hike-a-biking barricades of the grounds’ grassier segments to sandy, wheel-snaring beach stretches — an environment made even more challenging by stiff, sluggish headwinds blowing in off the water, something noted by several competitors.

This year, that list of competitors included TOWheels/Epic Sports Performance/BCC’s Siobhan Kelly, fresh back from Cross Vegas, one of the continent’s most prestigious competitions.

Ten classifications in all rolled out as That Dam ‘Cross Race began: Minime Boys, an 11.2 km race with four laps; the Elite 4 men’s competition, 14 km with five laps; the Master 3 men’s competition, also with five laps and 14 total kilometres; the Master women’s race, with the same characteristics; a 16.8 km, six lap Elite 3 and Junior Men’s race; the Master 2 men’s competition at 16.8 km and six laps; the Elite women, riding five laps on a 14 km course; a 22.4 km Master 1 Men’s race, consisting of 8 laps; the Elite 1 & 2 men’s competition, with 8 laps covering 22.4 km; and finally, a Single Speed division, covering 14 km of ground over the course of 5 laps.

The Minime Boys competition saw Wesley Hill, riding for Kallisto-FCV p/n Toyo Tires, record a time of 0:44:46. In the Elite 4 Men’s race that followed, Connor Gregory of Bateman’s Bicycle Company took top standings with a time of 0:42:00, followed 28 seconds later by Taylor Ford of TOWheels/Epic Sports Performance/BCC, and in third place, Ryan Prystai of Morning Glory Cycling Club, who finished with 2:06 behind the leader.

In the Master 3 Men’s class, the top three places went to Jason Rodriques, riding for Lanterin Rouge, who finished with a time of 0:43:58; Terry Rice in second, with the Silver Spokes Inc rider rolling in sixteen seconds behind Rodrigues; and Shawn Reeder, an independent rider, who finished 21 seconds back. The Master Women’s race, on the other hand, saw riders roll acros the finish with decidedly larger gaps on one another. Maureen O’Hare of Coachchris.ca/Ted Velikonja/Trudel Medical crossed the finish first at 0:49:31, followed 1:46 later by teammate Amy White, and in third place, Alexa Pagel of Lantern Rouge finished almost a full minute behind White — clocking a time of 2:36.

The Elite 3 and Junior Men’s race, meanwhile, saw riders averaging a speed of 21.0 km/h despite the difficult, windy conditions, and it was independent Scott McDougall whose time of 0:47:59 put him across the line first. Twenty-eight seconds back, Paul McKeever of TOWheels/Epic Sports Performance/BCC finished second, while Bateman’s Bicycle Company rider Bret Waghorne, eleven seconds behind McKeever, finished 0:39 behind the lead.

With an average race speed of 20.0 km/h, the Master 2 Men’s race was another competition that saw somewhat wider margins between finishers. In that race, Michael Macklem of Lamprey Systems finished first with a time of 0:50:24, with TOWheels/Epic Sports Peformance/BCC’s Marc Joanisse 1:08 behind. Joel Rose of Waterloo Cycling Club was that competition’s third place rider, finishing the course 2:39 after Macklem.

In the Elite Women’s case, Siobhan Kelly added a win on Ontario soil to her season with a finishing time of 0:44:35, followed more than three minutes behind by Kallisto-FCV p/b Toyo Tires’s Candice Vermeulen, clocking 3:41. Meg Siegel of Lantern Rouge, in third, finished a full lap behind. The Master 1 Men’s race, meanwhile — with an average speed of 21.2 km/h — saw Marc Brusso of Lapdogs Cycling Club seal the win with a time of 1:03:24. In second place, Stephane Marcotte of Truenorth Medical Road Corps was 3:12 behind.

The Elite 1&2 Men’s race, however, saw a roundly-represented podium with Marco Li, riding for TOWheels/Epic Sports Peformance/BCC, in first with a time of 1:01:53. Teammate Isaac Smith finished the 22.4 km course in second, 43 seconds behind Li, while Chris Barson of Coachchris.ca/Ted Velikonja/Trudel Medica was in third place, 1:56 back.

Single speed competition, finally, finished with Kevin Tearle of Team PBR p/b Racer Sportif’s time of 0:46:11.