As the snow piled up covering the icy brown ruts of the days past, the city of Hartford came to a stand still. The plow trucks couldn’t keep up with the pace of the falling snow and the local pizza delivery found the passage to Riverside park too treacherous to deliver a staggering amount of pies to keep the USAC officials from falling into a fit of cold and hungry. Space heaters powered by propane and kerosene work at capacity in an attempt to keep spectators and competitors warm inside of a growing tent city creating a scene that was set perfect for Saturday afternoon’s final events, the women and men’s single speed races.
Over the past few seasons the single speed race has been a subject of much debate. Purists’ believe that perhaps it shouldn’t be included at all in the national championship week of events, and that it elevates the act of single speeding to a level that is far to serious. Others are worried that the increased level of participation by elites and pros takes away from the camaraderie and light heartedness of the discipline. Despite what the collective opinion is over what single speed cyclocross racing is or is not, it did little to deter the mens field from filling up to capacity, with 165 riders launching off into the falling snow.
The women’s race was dominated by Mindy McCutcheon who took an early lead through the blinding snow and never looked back. Issac Neff was able to capture his second National title of the weekend, escaping the chaos of an overwhelming mens field. Whether you are a dedicated one-cogger or someone who spends the night before in your hotel room cobbling together a single-speed machine, one thing is for certain, the single speed field is still the biggest and best two wheeled party of the week.