Thursday, December 13, 2007

Morrissey Wins Day's Muddiest Race

The course thawed to a viscous mess in some places by the noon start of the men’s race. Suddenly, risks that seemed outrageous earlier in the day were within reason for the 118 competitors who lined up at the start.

The course’s first turn also had become a prime viewing sight, since slippery grass made crashing inevitable in the earlier races. But Steve Songer (Team X Cycling), 46, of Overland Park, Kan. collected the holeshot and flawlessly pulled the field through the turn without incident. Songer quickly faded into the pack, though, as eventual winner Patrick Morrissey of Albuquerque, N.M., (NM Team Cross) made his way forward. By the time he reached the barriers, Morrissey was in command and on his way to winning the 45-minute race by 37 seconds.

“One of the keys is to go well up the pavement and then I think if you overcook it on the pavement, you’ll pay,” he said. “So I just kind of took it easy up the pavement and then I had plenty left once we got into the dirt.

“You’re constantly looking at the course, constantly looking for a better line and when you’re alone, you can find it,” he said. “I did go down on one corner – I just didn’t respect it.”

Behind him, the field strung out in gaps ranging from three seconds to more than a minute. Troy Krause (Lincoln Industries-Lemond) went on to finish second, Darron Cheek (A Racers Edge) was third and Brent Evans (Color Me Safe) and Andy Lucas (X Racing) rounded out the podium in fourth and fifth, respectively.

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