The Cross Crusade invaded the Oregon coast Saturday for the first day of the traditional Halloween doubleheader, which will continue Sunday with the famously rowdy costume race.
Although the precipitation held off on race day, the course at Clatsop County Fairgrounds south of Astoria, about eight miles from the Pacific Ocean beaches, was saturated from a week of rain.
After two second-place finishes and one third, Shannon Skerritt (Corsa Concepts) finally stood atop the podium after round 5 of the series. Series leader Chris Sheppard, who had won three of the first four races, was absent for the weekend, and Skerritt had free rein, taking the lead on the first lap, pushing the pace and picking his own lines.
Brett Luelling (BuyLocal.com) initially held Skerritt’s pace and then dropped just behind to chase while Michael Gallagher (Cyclocross Racing) led a group of four riders even further in arrears.
Skerritt’s pace eventually proved too much for Luelling, who slipped back to third after Gallagher left his group behind and charged into second, finishing about 20 seconds behind Skerritt. Luelling held on for third, about half a minute behind the winner.
In the women’s race, series leader Alice Pennington was absent Saturday, leaving week 2 winner Wendy Williams (River City Bicycles) free to take the victory in front of teammate Brigette Brown and Sunnyside Sports’ Serena Bishop.
Bishop made her move late on the last lap and briefly held an advantage of several seconds over Williams. But the former masters national champion didn’t let that stand for long, charging back up to Bishop as the pair started a battle that lasted nearly half the race.
But Williams’ pace was just too much for Bishop, who eventually popped on the course’s major climb and slowly slipped back to third.
“I finally figured out how to ride that main climb,” Williams said. “We came up together and I finally gapped her on that descent. I think she was gassed out. But she did a great job for that first half of the race.”
Williams kept it upright and rode steady to the line for the win. Brown finished 36 seconds later for second. Bishop crossed the line nearly a minute behind Williams to take third.
- 1. Shannon Skerritt, Corsa Concepts
- 2. Michael Gallagher, Cyclocross Racing
- 3. Brett Luelling, BuyLocal.com
- 4. Ian Brown, River City Bicycles
- 5. Aaron Tuckerman, Corsa Concepts