The final Inside Out Cyclocross of 2013 was also the first CX race on the Top Banana schedule for 2013.
The brave souls that ventured to Greenville Sunday endured terrible weather, layers of mud and a shortened course, but helped themselves to happy slabs of Top Banana points. In a soupy mud that challenged the mettle and skill of every rider, the even the A race turned into a mess of crashes, mistakes and lost leads.
With no A women racers, the only points up for grabs were for the men. Gietzen returned to his 29er, a solid advantage in the conditions. Alex Vanias, hooked on this whole CX thing, returned once again and rode amazingly well in the slop, eventually corralling a second place finish behind Gietzen. Nate Versluis took third, with Thomas Beebe and Andy Holly filing in to take the final points on offer for the day.
The standings are now opened up for the third race of the series, and the first one that will blow up the standings. Barry-Roubaix is just under two weeks off, and it’s worth 15 points to the winner. It assures a whole new look to the standings, though don’t be surprised if you see some of these faces remaining in the top ten.
Einstein Racing brings a massive and talented squad to Hastings, and they’ll be riding to put as many guys in the top ten as possible. Wakeley certainly has a chance at the win, and the wet, sloppy conditions of the course at the moment would favor the Giant of Grayling. Gietzen, Vanis and Versluis should all figure in the final selection on March 23, though there are so many fast riders that it is hard to narrow it down to less than a dozen. One rider that can’t be overlooked is the 2012 champion, the King of the Roubaix, Mike Anderson. He’ll be back to defend his title and to open up his 2013 campaign to defend his Top Banana Competition win of last year. That win was due in no small part to his big win at BRX, some solid points on the road calendar, and a huge result at the Iceman Cometh. That’s certainly a workable blue print to success in 2013, as well.
Here’s the standings after two races:
Jorden Wakeley 5
Craig Gietzen 5
Alex Vanias 4
Scott Quiring 4
Nate Versluis 3
Jason Lowetz 3
Thomas Beebe 2
Ryan Kennedy 2
Andy Holly 1
Cody Sovis 1
Don’t worry, there’s fifteen races left on the program this year.