by Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com
The Grant Park CX Cup kicked off the 20th anniversary season for the 2021 Georgia Cross series. The race itself has reached iconic status with the 10th edition. The course did not disappoint—including being raced in reverse. The start was fast and on the easier portion of the course. Some fields managed to break up in the turns on the first part of the track. Others stuck together until it got to the barriers and switchbacks. A fast section was followed by an unexpected run up. There were more technical turns and a large, soul-crushing hill on the back side of the course. The weather gods smiled upon racers. Except for a few drops of rain, it remained dry all day.
In the Women’s 1/2/3 race Grace Anne Ingram rode away from the pack early. Maria Carrelli (706P) was within striking distance most of the race. On the bell lap she attacked and passed Grace Anne for the win. Stacy Robinson (L5 Flyers p/b Ortho Atlanta) was 3rd with Jessica Podtratsky (FeraFox p/b NICH Speed) in 4th.
In the Men’s 1/2 race a trio formed at the front in the first two laps: David Gunnerson (Otterhaus/K&F Construction), Nick Van Winkle (Specialized-BMW), and Michael Sanders (RRR Gravel Bros). They would trade off who was at the front while attacking each other.. About half way into the race, Michael was dropped. Nick outsprinted David for the win. Micheal would hold onto 3rd, and Dylan Ogle (The Hub Bikes CX p/b Athens Animal Hospital).
The Single Speed provided the spectators with some of the best racing of the day. It generally involved jorts (over kit, thankfully), tank tops, mullet bikes, mullet hair cuts, and other things that are not normally found in the more “serious” races. The best action was on the switchback hill with much heckling, cheering, and cowbells. David Gunnerson was not tired enough from the Men’s ½ race and won the SS. Matthew Reeves was 2nd, and Scott Yarosh (Cyclenauts Racers) was 3rd. In the Women’s Single Speed Cassidy Thornton took home the win.