I traveled to Lawrence Kansas on my birthday to compete in two days of the Joules Cross. I was in Kansas City to visit my daughter and was looking for some type of event and lucked into the cross scene there. The Kansas City area has a great cross heritage having conducted several National Championships here in the past five years. The Joules Cross course was a pure cross course unlike many of the courses we see in Tennessee (which often have mountain bike tendencies). Even better, they have four Master’s categories broken down into 30+, 40+, 50+, and 60+. Each field had 10-20 riders and each field started 30 seconds apart. This made for great racing as each group was racing against their own but had the added fun of chasing down the group in front of them as well. I rode the 60+ group and it started out very fast with Jim Wentling of Dodge City setting a blistering pace. I was able to mark his wheel for the first four laps eventually taking the lead with two to go and dropping him on the final lap to win the first day. The course was wide and fast with no BS like sand, single track or long steep climbs to mess up the flow of the race. It was go, go, go all the way with a “spiral of death” and two dismounts each lap, one of which was a steep run up. This allowed for riders to stay together and flog one another.
The second day was a repeat of the first with the course running in the opposite direction. Wentling and another rider set an early pace. We caught a large group of the 50+ riders at one of the dismounts and I blew past everyone and kept on going to my second victory of the weekend. The races were great fun and very hard.
by Tom Gee