For the second year in a row the Crawdad Kermesse tops my lists of cool races that I have attended. The atmosphere, the course, the organization, the announcer, the associated festival, and the weather made this just about the perfect race. All of the SimplexQ crew but one had attended this race last year so the excitement as we rolled out of Little Rock Saturday was at an all time high.
Upon arrival check in was a breeze with the super courteous volunteers who made sure we got numbers, pins, and the low down on the course.
The Course is a 4 mile circuit that has two fantastic climbs right out of the gate, followed by a wide open down hill section before flattening out through a flat technical section leading back into the start/finish area. The first hill is a 7/10ths of a mile and although relatively steep the peloton always seems to fall into a nice consistent pace that drives you through the hill quickly. The second hill is 4/10ths of a mile and with an 18% grade shows none of the mercy the first hill does, this second hill does its best to stop you in your tracks and gets you out of the saddle and maxed out quickly. The downhill section is a welcome site and although we were consistently doing 46 mph down it you were still able to recover before turning into the flat technical section of the park. The Park path section was new this year and definitely spiced things up, gone was the flat straightly shot into the final turn that allowed for setting up the sprint. The Park path made it tough to move position and kept things interesting and somewhat disorganized into the last corner into the sprint for the finish line.
As if the stellar course and great weather weren’t enough to make this a great race alone, the Payout was out incredible with something like $4,000.00 to be had and payouts up to 12 places.
The premier race of the day was the Category 1,2,3 race with some pretty big names showing up to participate including a national champion! Little Rock Junior, Evan East, made the break with a with some Mercy Cycling team members and held on to the final lap where he jumped and was able to gap the break and hold on for the win.