That’s a Wrap! Ascent Cycling Race Series Season-in-Review
Folks around these parts will tell you there aren’t many cross-country racing options in our slice of the Front Range here in b-e-a-utiful Colorado Springs. Oh sure, there’re some endurance events in the early season, but they’re in the Denver area before retreating to the resorts in the Rockies. That’s a less-than-optimal situation for most of us with, you know, “jobs,” “families,” and “commitments other than bicycle riding.” But I digress.
We locals need a hero, or in this case, heroes, to give us the wheel-to-wheel action we crave! They’ve gotta be strong, and they’ve gotta be fast, and they’ve gotta… but I digress again. Enter Sand Creek Sports event promoter Andy Bohlmann and title sponsor Ascent Cycling. They’ve teamed up for the sixth year to bring you- the ravenous competitor- local racing fare in the guise of the Ascent Cycling Race Series! The five-race series culminated with a championship event at Bear Creek Terrace and the weather and trail conditions were all time very good. “But Scotty Mac, you didn’t race the series,” you astutely point out, “So how the heck do you know all this, or are you just spouting nonsense?” Glad you asked! Over to you, Ascent Cycling Series racers…
The Groms’ Take
“I thought it was a great race series. The courses were well-marked, and everybody who was a part of the race was really helpful.” ~Drew, Cat 3, age 12
“The series is just awesome, and it’s nice to support the local scene. These were some of the first races I did when I was just starting out, and they’re still super fun for me!” ~Kyle, Cat 1/Pro, age 17
The Bettys’ Thoughts
“Well, it’s my fifth year racing the series, so I must like it! It’s great because most of the venues are close enough to ride over to and warm up, the entry fee is cheap, and it’s just really convenient. Having different race groups is nice as well, because you can hang out and cheer other category racers on.” ~Tracy, Cat 1/Pro
“Awesome race! The course was perfect, just a great loop. We went off with the juniors and those kids are fast! Hopefully I’m in town for all the races next year; I’m looking forward to racing the whole series.” ~Jessica, Cat 3
The Bros Drop Knowledge
“What do I think of the series? Short and hard. Quality over quantity. That’s it, really!” ~Nick, Single Speed
“I think it’s well-run, and well-sponsored. I like that we’re only at each venue no more than twice, it’s a really nice mix. The Palmer Park and Cheyenne Mountain State Park races were my favorites, they had just enough technical riding so everyone could find a challenge and have fun. As a suggestion, I’d like to see a couple more options on-site for post-race nutrition, maybe something to look into in future years?” ~Bill, Cat 2
“It’s a really unique concept- a local, weekday series. It’s well-attended, with a great depth of talent throughout the different categories. That doesn’t exist in other places, and I think it’s one of the reasons that Colorado Springs riders are so competitive in other races in the region. If you look at the Growler results, we’re right up there in the standings. It’s a great situation to have.” ~Cameron, Cat 1/Pro
So what’s on hand for next year? Will there be gap jumps and cyclocross-style hurdles to get the blood pumping? Maybe a beanbag toss tournament to determine the category winners in the event of a tie? How about a dizzy-bat shuttle run after each lap? Mmmmm… nah. If I had to guess, I’d wager we’re looking at more of the same. But judging by what the folks I talked to had to say, I think that’s fine by them.
After all, why mess with success?