Inflatables and Crazy Corners: Day Two USAC Crit Champs
Yesterday’s Northwest Crossing crit in Bend was BANANAS – technical, fast and buzzing with energy from a seriously fired up crowd. There was a street fair with food vendors, face painters and even a ginormous inflatable “IronMan” bouncy room.
The Boys 10-12 group absolutely ripped out of the start gate with hometown hero Grant McElroy bringing the gold glory by only a wheel in the finishing sprint. Grant – you’re our hero! Portland salutes you!
In the Womens 13-14 group, Katrina Howard nailed her 8th stars and stripes jersey by riding straight off the front of the group, lapping the entire field, and then attacking them in the final lap so she could finish alone and post up in peace. Astounding.
And if that wasn’t enough, the Mens 13-14 group was even battier. Phillip O’Donnell and Daniel Park zipped off to open up a gap in the early laps, trading pulls like a couple of seasoned pro-tour riders. When they caught and lapped the field, they decided to sit at the front, dragging an entire chasing peloton up to the small group that had initially been behind them. And if that wasn’t weird enough, there was a HUGE crash in the final lap that took Park down.
With an entire lap on the field and a non-functioning bike, Park ran for the last quarter of the course, just beating a hard-charging peloton behind him to secure his silver medal. He pulled a sweet ‘cross remount about 4 feet from the finish line and crossed it on his bike, smiling through a mouth full of blood. Then he stopped and let me take an awesome photo of his bloody-mouthed grin.
No time for captions today as I’m running on four hours sleep and shooting out the door to shoot a day’s worth of time trials. You can see full results and more coverage at USAC’s website or browse hundreds of great participant photos over at Cascade Event Photography.