It is hard to believe that this past Saturday, Aric, Christian and I (Marie) Dershem headed to race cyclocross in December in Michigan with no snow on the ground and relatively mild temperatures. This past Saturday, the Dershems (along with several other teammates) raced the State Championship Cyclocross race in Rockford, Michigan in near perfect conditions.
The course offered a good deal of off-camber fun, tight corners, some big mud puddles, rough, grinding climbs, and a fun fly-over. It was a relentless hammer-fest in that there was little time to rest but good opportunities to push through pavement sections.
Christian was the first to race at 9:15 in the morning. It was foggy and cold, but that didn’t slow this little guy down. He put his game face on and turned up the heat. He even carried his 30 pound bike up the fly-over (keep in mind he barely tips the scales at 70 pounds), hopped back on and rolled down like a pro. He finished with a huge smile on his face, even though he was unaware that he has won the State Championship in ages 9-12. When he found out he won… pure joy.
Inspired by the littlest Dershem win, Aric and I headed onto the course at the same time. The Women’s CAT 1/2/3 lined up and were released onto the course just a minute before the CAT 3/4 men. I had a rough start, but keeping a strong and steady pace throughout the race, I managed to work her way up to a 2nd place finish, passing 3rd place in the last lap of the race. I was thrilled to share the podium with two strong women, and privileged to race in a strong women’s field.
Aric’s race started out fast with a crowded field of CAT 3/4 men. With a strong start, Aric kept his eyes on his main competitors, just a few bike lengths ahead. Trading spots through the first half of the race, Aric was feeling strong and having a blast. A small crash slowed him down, losing the front group, but keeping them in sight. On the last lap, he pressed hardtop pass 4th place, coming in for a 3rd place podium finish.