Elite Cyclocross racer Adam St. Germain of Burlington took part in the Ethan Allen Biathlon Club’s Cyclocross/Biathlon race this October. The 10 kilometer race had 36 participants ranging in age from teenagers to those in their 50s. It included four shooting stops with penalty loops for each miss. The 28-year-old manufacturer’s representative for Stoner-Andrews has been a bicycle racer for 15 years and a cyclocross racer for five, but this was his first time trying biathlon.
VS: What made you sign up for the cyclocross/biathlon?
AS: I tried it because it was local and it sounded like a lot of fun, but I hadn’t shot a rifle since I was a boy scout.
VS: How did they reintroduce you to shooting?
AS: When we got there, the volunteers gave us a safety briefing, and there was half an hour of open practice shooting for those who hadn’t shot biathlon before. They also made it easier for those of us in the sport category by allowing us to do all four shooting stops from the prone position. The experts had two prone and two standing. You don’t carry the guns on the bicycle. They are waiting for you, unloaded, at the shooting stations.
VS: How did you do?
AS: I finished second overall for sport racers and first in my age group. Being a good cyclist was my only advantage, since you had to ride penalty laps for each shot that you missed. I only hit six out of 20 targets. I hit three the first round, but after that, I only hit one each time so I had a lot of penalty laps.
VS: What was the cycling loop like?
AS: We started on one of the paved ski trails and went up a steep hill. Then we cut through the woods and then onto another paved section, going around one of the range buildings. We ended with some zigzags in a field adjacent to the range. It was only their second time running this race, but it was a good course. It was interesting, but not overly technical or complicated.
VS: Would you do it again?
AS: Absolutely. I plan to start racing their Thursday night series in the winter even though I’m a terrible skier.
VS: What do you enjoy about it?
AS: I enjoyed the challenge of it. It was significantly more challenging mentally than a traditional cyclocross race. The event was really a lot of fun. Everyone was having a good time.
VS: If you were in charge of the race, would you do anything differently?
AS: I don’t think so. There were no major oversights, and the event was really well run. It was worth doing if only for the pies that the Village Cup provided at the end of the race. They were really good.