This post started as a look back at the Cross on the Rock season through the lens of results. Two things happened. First, I quickly realized there’s only so many ways you can combine “Mical,” “Emilly” and “podium” in the same sentence without sounding like a broken LP played at 45rpm. The two didn’t miss an island podium once this fall! Second, it became obvious that much of what made this season so great was missing. Though this was a banner year for NFR in terms of results – literally, we won the team category! – much of what made showing up every weekend worth the loads of laundry that stretched into the next week happened outside of awards ceremonies.
people. people are rad. Results are fun, but they’re more fun with rad people. And we had a tent (or two) crammed full of rad people every weekend this fall! People, dogs, donuts, kids and coffee. Thankfully, the latter two did not mix.
As with every year, a big part of Cross on the Rocks for Naked Bicycles and Naked Factory Racing was watching Sam give away a Naked X frame at series finals. We’ve all benefited greatly from Sam’s generous support – and more from his friendship – so it’s always an exciting time to see someone new be brought into the Naked party. The draw always seems to work out well, kinda an inverse-Hunger Games scenario? – and this year was no different. Rowan has been a smiling well of positive energy every she shows up at a cross race — hitting that balance between pushing her own riding (and was one of the very few to clear Transfer Beach’s endless sand section) and finding enjoyment in riding her bike.
Cross on the Rock season review!!
What a killer season! Seems like it just barely started, and we’re already through with Cross on the Rock for 2017! This was a banner year for Naked Bicycles & Naked Factory Racing, literally – taking the banner for team overall points!! NFR’s expanded, adding the blazing fast Comox Valley Jr’s, Emilly Johnson and Carter Woods to the continuing team members. Regan, Sam and Mical put in some serious miles in the off season, helping NFR step up it’s support by bringing Smith Optics, Industry Nine, Shimano, Jakroo, Wolf Tooth and Horst Engineering on board, as well as a boost in support from Quadra locals, Study Build.
Kicking off the season with a cloud of dust, Topaz was a barn burner. Hot off some big summer results on the mountain bike (first at CNEC finals in Big White!) Carter quickly jumped out to the holeshot corner, declaring his intentions for the rest of the year right away. Eventually, Felix went past, taking a couple others with him, but it definitely caught a couple peoples attention. On the Women’s side, Mical and Emilly quickly established what would become a pattern of dominance all fall, finishing 1-2 on the day.
At the series most picturesque venue, Mical continued her winning ways, with Emilly shortly behind in 3rd. On the Men’s side, Terry picked the right gear for the day, running up into second behind Raph Lalumiere for his best COTR finish to date. Ladysmith was also the first – and far from last – Intermediate win for Naked’s Britt Shalagan!
Coal Cross Cumberland
Mical and Emilly moved back to the top two spots on their home course, finishing 1-2 again, while Britt again won Intermediate. For the boys, Naked master disorganizer and head honcho, Sam Whittingham pulled off a season-high 6th place finish. At this point in the season, Naked Bicycles started to push out in front of a strong Rock City Cycles/Frontrunners/Kiyo Salon/Swet Hous crew in the team category.
Kona Kup – Nanaimo
Repeating the previous weekends dominance, though on a much different course, Emilly followed Mical onto the podium, while Britt took another Intermediate win! After struggling with injury early in the season, Carter was looking very comfortable on course, pushing through to a big 2nd place finish!
Cross on the Commons – Qualicum Beach
With Mical absent, Emilly stormed away to win on the Women’s side, with Britt continuing to do the same in Intermediate. NFR’s men showed a strong affinity for tough courses, pushing through mud and sand dunes to finish four riders in the top 10 (and 3 on singlespeeds!), with Terry 4th, Carter 5th, Sam 7th and Hal 9th
Days of Thunder Double Header – Victoria
Returning to the South island for a fast and furious Western Speedway double header, COTR served up snow, sleet and all the mud we could ask for! Day 1 saw Mical and Emilly again finishing 1-2, while Carter (5th) and Hal (9th) kept NFR in the top 10 for the men. Britt again bested the Intermediate Women’s field. Mical and Emilly kept it consistent to place 1-2 again on Sunday, while Carter jumped up onto the podium to finish 3rd on a strong, young podium, while Hal stayed inside the top 10 at 9th.
COTR FINALS – Hot Cross Bunnies – Beban Park, Nanaimo
Drama! Excitement! More Podiums! Mical again topped the podium, with Emilly finishing 3rd in a tight race against N. Van’s Jasmin Duehring. Carter elevated his game for finals, taking his first Expert COTR win, and leapfrogging into 2nd in the overall standings with 1860 points – a single point off Raph’s winning total! Terry had another strong showing, slotting into 4th.
Team – Naked Bicycles!
Mical 1st – Emilly 2nd – Danielle 8th
Carter 2nd – Terry 6th – Sam 8th – Hal 9th – Jamie Cameron 13th
Emilly and Carter finished strong as the top Jr riders in the Expert category!
Sam ended the season as he usually does: by giving away a free, custom Naked X frame! We’re looking forward to seeing Rowan on her Naked next year!