Posted by Editoress on 11/1/10
Report from the 4th Annual Hillbilly Hustle
Photos by Jon Safka cyclingphotos.ca
The fourth Annual Hillbilly (or Snowbilly) Hustle took place on the haunted grounds of Highlands Nordic on Halloween. Record crowds were out to attempt a course full of farm animals, jumps, barriers, a tunnel and of course, snow. Riders, some in costumes, some in bike clothes and some in snow suits, were greeted by a banjo playin' good time.
Each lap, riders had the option of hitting the snow covered Hillbilly Rocket Launcher, provided by Joyride 150. Riders who were able to carry air over the jump earned themselves a well deserved pumpkin. Although most riders elected to keep their wheels on the wet wood, notable brave jumpers included David Ross, Bretton Matthews, Greg Marshall and Derek Hardinge.
The early race was greeted by weather that could only be described as "snow, heavy at times". The ground remained relatively frozen, which limited the mud. In the M3 race, HBCC member Brad Hunter took the win over Cory Tkachuck and Chris White. The beginner men was one of the closer races of the day, with Brandon Parker edging out Chris Kozanczyn and Brett Liersch. In the under 15 category boys, Adam Jamieson rode away from Stefan Milosevic and Rune Schaffler to take the victory. Of note was the fact that we had three U15 females take part (Charlotte Creswick, Farleigh Creswick and Kassandra Kriarkis), all from the strong Esteem Cycling team.
The 11:30 race was headlined by the senior women's championship list. Most of Ontario's top riders were out in the women's race to compete for the Hillbetty Skirt, including defending champion Amanda Sin, Olympian Leigh Hobson, perennial O-Cup favorite, Melissa Bunn and Trek World Racing's Emily Batty. Through the first lap, Hobson and Bunn opened up a gap over Sin (who picked up second prize in the costume as competition as "Hit Girl" in the 11:30 race) that they would not relinquish. In the end, a late surge by Hobson was not matched by Bunn and Hobson was able to take her first Hillbetty skirt, followed by Sin in third place.
In the Master Women's category, Michelle "Daisy Duke" Cordy won the race (and the costume competition) over Leslie Chown and Kelly Greene. Third place in the costume competition went to the Devil, in the form of Sandra Deegan. In the Master 2 Category, Kierian Maxwell took the victory over Graham Jones. Garnett Abbey was able to use all of his newfound mountain biking poweress to earn a hard fought third place.
By the time the 1:00 pm race came around, water ponds and near freezing temperatures were in store for the riders. The senior men were gunning for the Honorary Hillbilly: Andrew Watson and his hillbilly jacket. Challengers such as Mike Garrigan, Jared Stafford, Eric Box and Nathan Chown all wanted a chance to wear the most coveted jacket on the Ontario cyclocross scene.
The race started with an attack by Garrigan, in an attempt to earn the $100 Digica.ca prime, however, Garrigan crashed in the mud part way through the lap, leaving the door open for Watson to take the prime. After the first lap Garrigan fell back as far as sixth place, feeling the effects of the hard effort and the face full of mud. Stafford came through the first lap in third and was almost able to close the gap to Watson on the second lap. However, it was all for naught, as Watson put in a dig to open a gap that would not be closed, and take his fourth straight hillbilly jacket. Second place went to Stafford, followed by Garrigan, Box, and Adam Morka.
In the Master 1 Men, Paul Greene attacked from the gun to take the 24 Steamwhistle Prime and the victory over Jeff "Jiffy" Weber and "Cap'n" Ed Makarchuck (both of race sponsor Sound Solutions) in a mud and snow filled contest.
Best costume of the 1:00 race was easily won by HBCC's Greg Marshall, who entertained the crowd by hitting the Hillbilly Rocket Launcher with flair every lap.
Report courtesy Stephen Ferguson
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