By Chris Reid
For the fourth consecutive year, Ride with Rendall hosted the Hammer and Anvil Cyclocross Events at the Nepean Equestrian Centre near Ottawa. For the first time the Anvil was an event on the Southern Ontario Cyclo-Cross schedule. The pressure was on for racers looking to gauge their form in advance of next weekend’s National Championships in Vancover BC.
Also making a return for a second year was the Anvil on Foot – a 6km running race featuring two laps of the cyclocross course. Former NCAA standout Mike Woods took home the win in this prestigious footrace.
Designed by past national cross champion and RWR member Greg Reain along with club president (for life) Glen Rendall the Hammer and Anvil Courses are twisty and turny affairs with the second day Anvil being slightly more technically demanding (and historically being held in the rain).
The weather proved to be far better than predicted with both days being not only snow, but rain free. Day one featured bone dry conditions making for fast and exiting racing as clumps of racers stayed together in trains. Overnight rain left day two greasy and slippy- meaning every corner demanded utter concentration.
Derrick St. John (Stevens Racing) and his long time partner Natasha Elliot (the Cyclery) made it a couple’s weekend with both riders taking back to back wins.
On day one St. John rode away from fellow Ottawa rider Osmond Bakker (Octto-Cervelo) with up and coming mountain biker Mitch Bailey (Trek Canada) rounding out the podium in third. Elliot gapped season long rival Evelyn Blouin (Ride with Rendall) with past Ontario Champion Melissa Bunn (Stevens) coming in third.
Day two saw repeat winners but a shifting podium as more riders were drawn to the valuable points at stake in the Southern Ontario Season. One rider who made the trip to Ottawa was reining Provincial Champion Andrew Watson (Norco). While Watson left empty handed he took over the lead in the series standings. Bakker finished on the podium again, this time in third.
Newly crowned Ontario champion Julie Lafreniere (XPREZO-BORSAO) finished second to Elliot in the Anvil and bumped Blouin down to third.
In master’s competition Kris Westwood and Steve Proulx (both of the Cycelry) swapped wins over the weekend with Matt Surch (Tall Tree Cycles) finishing third both days.
Vet C rider Robbie O (Ride with Rendall) took the win both days in the M2 category.
Ride with Rendall would like to extend a huge thank you to all the racers that come out, as well as to all of the club sponsors that make this weekend possible.
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