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Deer Farm Cyclocross – Newfield, ME

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

My consolation prize for not being able to race the Saturday 40+ masters race at KMC was quite a surprise. If you read my last report, you would have realized that family plans changed my race plans for the weekend. A stark difference from the steep fees at KMC led me to register for a $25 USAC race in the little town of Newfield at a deer farm of all places. When we arrived at the farm, there were two very nice people parking people along the road, in front yards, driveways, and fields. The vibe here is what you expect from a small town cyclocross race. Funny thing, people kept coming and filling up the roads. This little race was going to be full of racers!! As I rode down to registration I was greeted by Paul Weis who is a local cyclocross racer from the Portland area of Maine. Paul has been racing for a long time so getting his feedback on tire selection and current course conditions is worth a listen. He was also sporting a new bike (i.e. A Kona Super Jake disc which was recently purchased from Big Al).

After registration I jumped on the course for a couple laps to pre-ride the race course. Without getting into too much detail, this course had sandy ride-ups that were barely rideable, barriers, run-ups, cambers, and sand that only the best cyclocross courses offered. I was super pleased with the course layout which had you suffering and then recovering. This offered the fittest of racers the opportunity to sprint out of every corner and really push hard for position.

As we lined up at the start line of the 40+ race, Rick Nelson pulled up next to me escorted by Bill James who are both Bikeman team members. Troy Barry then scooted his way to the front of the start line. Troy doesn’t lose many races in New England and to have him at the start line proved that this would be a good starting field. When the whistle blew, we sprinted uphill to the first of a dozen corners in the fields where the deer graze and wallow. The first time we hit the sandy steep ride up, I was forced to shoulder my bike but the next lap, I was able to carry enough speed to make it to the top and ride through. Over each lap I gained position, passed riders, and eventually hit my match in a State 9 cx racer. Rick Nelson was strong and pulled away and showed his power. I could always see Bill but he was strong too. At the finish I followed the racer from State 9 to the last turn thinking I could beat him in a sprint and failed. I should have beat him to the last technical feature and blocked him out like he did to me. I finished 14/29. Bill was 12th and Rick finished just off the podium at 4th. As always, I take the lessons learned from this race into my next event.

After my race, I cleaned up and headed over for a beer, venison stew, and corn bread that was included in the $25 registration fees (WOW!!). My kids sipped on hot apple cider (Free) and a few other goodies which were just for them. We will be back again. This was a great event at a great location. I would characterize this as a classic cyclocross race with all of the great challenging features one would expect. The only downside was that I never saw one of those red deer. Next year.

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