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This inaugural year of Applecross CX took place in a small river-side park just outside of Honesdale, PA. Despite being a non-sanctioned USA Cycling race, the event drew a number of competitive cyclocross riders, and the racing was certainly fast. Utilizing steep, off-camber slopes and some technical, woody ridges, the course offered plenty for both racers and spectators.
Designed by local CX racer Rob Ost, the course aimed to combine fast and flowy pedalingwith technical dismounts and sand features. The course had minimal elevation gain, which was a benefit to many ‘power’-riders, but offered little by way of recovery. It was ‘go-go-go’ from the start, as riders sprinted for the first hairpin turn at approximately 200 meters. Shortly thereafter, racers were met with an early set of barriers before a short descent into the woods.
Although the course hadn’t seen recent precipitation, a thick morning frost was quickly melted by rising temperatures, and the course was rather soggy in spots. This was especially a factor in the first wooded section, which had several yards of greasy mud, causing no shortage of crashes and slow-downs.
The overall layout of the course was organized well, and the course utilized a variety of terrain-types and skillsets. Despite having a few sketchy sections, the course was generally up-to-snuff, and with a few tweaks could be seriously awesome in years to come.
One of the advantages of the race venue was SPACE. Apple Grove Park (the race’s namesake) offered plenty of parking, and great visibility for spectators. In particular, one central ridge-line was perfect for onlookers–on one side of the ridge one could heckle riders at the top of the main run-up, and on the other, one could watch a punchy out-of-saddle climb.
Of course cyclocross and beer go hand-in-hand, and convenient enough, Here & Now Brewing Company setup a beer tap right on the edge of the park. Music, beer, and cyclocross–it all fit together nicely.
Organized by a small band of passionate, off-road-enthused cyclists, Applecross CX is part of a long-term initiative by the Lackawanna Valley Racing Team and area bike shops (like Sawmill Cycles and Veloce Bikeworks) to bring competitive cycling back to Northeastern Pennsylvania. If all goes well, Applecross CX is poised to become a real player in the PACX series.
With Applecross CX behind us, there are but two races left on the regional cyclocross calendar. The next event is Rivertown Cross, just outside of Lancaster, PA. That race takes place on Saturday, December 2nd, followed by Solstice Cross on December 9th.
Plenty to Talk About
For more info and media specific to each of the day’s races, scroll below! Our goal is to grow our ‘coverage’ for each race, and to bring more high quality content every weekend to showcase all of our region’s amazing racers and promoters! Enjoy!