Now in its third year, the Paradise Sports Cross Frenzy attracts local and nationally and internationally ranked cyclocross riders. Peter Vollers of Woodstock is a masters racer who competed this year, together with six cyclists from the Killington Mountain School cycling team, which he coaches.
VS: What do you like about this race?
PV: This is really a hometown race for the Killington Mountain School cycling team. Our team knows the course, and the folks at Paradise Sports are willing to take care of any last-minute bike issues. I really like how supportive the folks at Paradise Sports are about cyclocross in general, and junior racing in particular. A big part of our program is teaching young riders to invest in their local cycling community, so it’s great to support this race, as well as our local shop: the Start House Ski and Bike shop in Woodstock.
VS: How did you do this year?
PV: I was second in my category (45+) and felt I could have won, but I dropped a chain with two laps to go. I thought I could get it on without getting off the bike, but I couldn’t. I closed in to seven seconds behind the guy who ended up winning. More importantly, my boys were first, second and third in the 15- to 18-year-old division, and one of my youngest racers placed 8th or 9th in the 10–15 division. We also had a 17-year-old girl who came in 6th in the pro division.
VS: How challenging is the course compared to other cyclocross races?
PV: They are all challenging in their own way, but this course is difficult because it’s very technical and filled with turns. You rarely go more than five or six seconds without a turn or an obstacle. You have to be fast in the turns and explosive coming out of them. As soon as you can get a pedal down, it’s as fast as you can go. Then you hit the brakes, float as much as you can, and fly out of it. Then there’s always the question of riding or running certain obstacles. In my group there was one that we all rode twice but then decided to run it at the end.
VS: Were there any memorable moments in the race for you?
PV: We’ve been doing a bunch of high-level, elite races, and this was a great opportunity where my kids could race against local kids. It was great to see them do so well. It’s a technical course, and it was neat to see how far they’ve come along. Many of these kids are new to cyclocross, so the high point was hearing someone say that they looked like they’d been racing for years.