Luray Caverns Cross- “The Town where Caverns meet the Sky”

13 12 2011

Pete Warner ventured out to Luray VA this past Sunday to participate in the Luray Caverns Cyclocross race. While some may believe that Luray is a distant destination, in reality, it is one of the most peaceful, scenic drives we’ve had all year, especially along route 211 up and over the Shenandoah National Park.  On arrival, you’re greeted with first class amenities including a monstrous parking lot, heated bathrooms and a sit down café serving hot coffee with a wide ranging menu, all just a hop, skip and jump away from the Luray Caverns entrance.  Oh, they were serving Lost Rhino Belgian beer, too!  The well kept historical buildings nestled on the site with the mountain range in the background are now intertwined with white and red course tape slithering about.  THIS IS CROSS!

The promoter, Chris Gould, and his legion of helpers hit this one out of the ballpark.  It was a gorgeous December day, a little nip in the air, but who can complain? Hopefully, in future editions Mother Nature will step in and add a little snow to the setting…that would be EPIC!

Luray Caverns Cross 123 Start

Now let’s get down to the action.  Warner lined up with a group of 10 to start the 1/2/3 race at 2 pm.  There were a few heavy hitters in the field; Fawley (Trek), Taylor (North-Tek), a few JRVS Virginia riders along with some other cross fanatics.  For Warner, he was focused on surviving the 60 minutes of hell, and if all went well, be slobbering all over himself with that painful smile of joy for having went out and performed the best to his ability.  From the gun, it was a knock down sufferfest.  Taylor and Fawley charged out of the gates and the field spread out in chase behind.

After a few bobbles and one slide-out on the first lap, Warner was able to steady himself and re-attach with Lance Byrd (Adventures for the Cure). The duo, battling for 5th and 6th kept at each other for the remainder of the race.  It’s one of the beautiful dynamics in cross, the race within the race.  Warner got a small gap after Byrd had slight trouble at the downhill gravel u-turn, but he fought hard to re-connect.  Then it was Warner’s turn to bobble that corner the next lap and Byrd commanded a gap that Warner had to bring back.  With two to go, Byrd inched out a small gap, forcing Warner to take a little more risk to close it down before the gravel.  It was a good move as Warner got too aggressive and got tied up in one of the corners.  Warner chased HARD to try and bring him back, but Byrd rode solidly to finish up strong for 5th, Warner 6th.  Fawley took the win, Taylor 2nd, Holland and Runnals (JRVS) 3rd and 4th.

What a course! It threw a little bit of everything at you.  There were great sections where you really had to empty the tank, but it also consisted of flowing technical sections where you could recover. The course design definitely forced you to maintain focus and think about setting up your next move.

A big thank you to the owner’s of the Luray Caverns for allowing us with a cross addiction to come out and play on their land! We are so very thankful!

A little compiled video Warner’s wife shot (there were some rowdy hecklers!)

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2 responses

23 12 2011
Lance Byrd

we had a tough battle pete! enjoyed reading your recap and watching the video. see you out there next year 🙂
~Lance

3 09 2014
Nick

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