Bamacross 2012 opened up this past weekend and it couldn’t have been more perfect with a big crowd, rain and lots of mud…oh…and some mythical purple beverage that was rumored to have been lurking around but I conclusive proof that it did not exist as I sampled everyone’s water bottles.
The 2012 race season started out with a bang opening up with the masters ripping the track up with the familiar faces of Hardwick Gregg, Eddie Freyer, Mike Enervold and the 7ft tall Igor Nikolic just to name a few. Following hot on the masters were the tough-as-nails-gals like Maaike Everts, Anna Carrigan, Melissa Moore with some new comers hot on their tails like Jen Nichols.
The Masters and gals pounded the short track hard while the hecklers grew in volume as the coffee and pastries surged through their bodies. Bamacross had begun and the energy was like a lightning storm.
As the day progressed and the Cat 4′s (Category class 4) and juniors lined up, the inevitable pounding of rain started and the track quickly went from tacky dirt to a thick peanut butter which laid way for the perfect cyclocross race. The Cat 4 class was huge this year with many of new faces dare braved Brent Marshall’s maniacal Bamacross track.
“People say Proud Sponsor easily these days, it is like the words go together automatically, like eccentric millionaire. However, Bike Link is truly proud to do our part to keep the series growing and keep putting butts on bikes.” - Joe from Bike Link
As the Cat 4′s roared off you could hear the sploosh sound as the already pounded track collected pools of mud and slush as the rain continued to intensify. As the half hour race came to an end the Cat 4′s and jr’s laid much waste to the track which led to the main event, the Cat’s 1, 2 and 3′s.
Herein lies the best part of the race, the most highly trained and skilled folks took the track and looking effortlessly, displayed a show of awesome speed and skill through the slosh and mud. It was in this race the biggest wipe outs happened, skilled riders effortlessly bunny hopping the barriers and seeing a young teenager hunt down and pick off grown men with his awesome skills that’s got the attention of everyone lately. A few people like Pete Foret braved jumping up from Cat 4 to Cat 3 to take on the one hour in hell.
“New fans and new racers! I loved seeing so many Cat 4 women, mostly brand new to CX. Also, lots of people came out to watch that have never been to a race before. Some were even talking about trying a race or two this season. It makes me happy seeing the sport grow here in Alabama!” – Laurel Wierenga
As the rain continued to slap away at the growing crowd of spectators as well as the riders, the once visible track was nothing more than streams and slick mud which was waiting anxiously to thwart the last group of racers, the single speeders. Max Diaz led the charge taking a massive lead up at front while newcomer Mat Ellis could throw down some pain in his first ever Cyclocross event.
It was a good day for Bamacross at Tannehill State Park. Despite the continued pounding of the rain, the crowds were huge, the food was plentiful, the heckling was intense and the fun was to be had. Brent Marshall puts on an awesome race season and if you have the time to ever come out and visit one, rain or shine (or snow!) you are in for a treat. Whether you are heckling or getting heckled – Bamacross 2012 is where it’s at!
“Having the kids’ race go over the barriers; that was soooo cute, them having to climb barriers that come up to their waist!” – Maaike Everts on her race highlights of the day
Join up for the next race on October 14th at East Lake Park in Birmingham, Alabama where the hecklers will have their insults more refined and riders will have tweaked their training to emerge victorious.
Hey before you check out the images, check out this 3+ minute video of the highlights from Bamacross #1.
Bamacross 2012 Race #1
[FMP width="640" height="360"]http://www.driven2divide.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/animoto_360p.mp4[/FMP] Right-click or ctrl-click this link to download.
My wife Kate and I took over 2,000 photos at Bamacross 2012 #1 (I had originally thought it was only 1,000 but I was way off). While I rode, Kate took pictures and man, she got some awesome stuff. We tried to get everyone who raced and I apologize if I missed you, just know it’s entirely personal and I don’t like you.
*Edit: The movie and the galleries are now a bit more mobile friendly.