Race Report: The North Carolina Grand Prix

by Christy Q

The Hendersonville cross race is just great all around, and dear to my heart. My first race there was an absolutely hellacious, cold mud fest that was yet made awesome by jet heaters, hot crock pots of chili and lots of cookies <I really have some crazy friends>. Even having a young infant in tow the next fall couldn’t keep me away, making the trip as a little family just to heckle and get a few hot laps between races. It was last year however that I got my first DNF, as well as a little trip into town via ambulance. All because I got antsy on the LAST turn of the LAST lap.

Determined to redeem myself this year, I set out for a FREEZING cold weekend of racing in Jackson Park. Temps were a lovely 23 degrees for the warmup laps, and rose to a balmy 31 degrees for the 10am races. Course conditions weren’t half bad though, getting only a little greasy in the turns on Sunday morning. It was the later races when punchy little hills became vertical slip n slides. The course has all the features one could hope for with the wall, a flyover, some fantastic off-cambers and even some time in the woods. I didn’t quite break into the top ten as I had hoped, but did two great races regardless, and without EMS involvement.

The first shout-out goes to my husband for putting up with these shenanigans year after year. Next is to Sportique, whose products I’ve used increasingly as the cyclocross season charges into winter. They’ve got it all covered from face to legs and everything in-between. And finally to CEP Compression, for making some kick-ass socks and tights that make multiple race days a little easier.

All this fun wouldn’t be possible without Tim Hopkin and the NCCX crew who have made this series happen for 20 years now. Happy anniversary!

Thanks to Weldon Weaver with his mad camera skills!

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