Last weekend was the penultimate event of the 2014 USXC cross-country series.
Held in balmy Warroad, Minn., where the temps were in the double-digits negative (with a fierce NW wind no less!) and where the ditches were FULL of snow, the race showcased the true rugged nature of cross-country racing.
(An apology to all the racers who will not be featured here, as I donned a TekVest myself this past weekend and thus skipped shooting pix of most classes.)
For the second week in a row, Savannah Landrus won the Jr. Girls 14-17 class.
David Brown flew to a win in the Jr. 10-13 Boys class, then proceded to eat a pile of pizza afterwards.
I spent a lot of time with the Brown family, the Feil family and the Trout family this weekend, in part because they (like pretty much everyone I meet at the USXC races) are as friendly and helpful as can possibly be. And because they all have warm trailers!
And also because my son Calvin cartwheeled his sled on the pre-lap, and it needed a heavy-duty (and hasty) repair session to fix. Thanks to all who helped us, I owe you all 1 hour of wrench time at any time/temperature/place of your choosing.
I was able to shoot the Pro 600 Stock class at Warroad. By the time these guys went out for their 4-lap, 80-mile race, the winds were blowing around 20 mph and the bumps were big.
The shot above was one of three sections on the course that wasn’t littered with huge holes. I can tell you from my own experience there that it was a total blast, in part because visibility was fantastic and because most of the holes were pounded-out and soft.
But “soft” doesn’t mean easy, as this race claimed a high number of racers, due in part to the relentless number of drifts and bumps, and the hard-snow conditions that prevailed early in the day.
With an open weekend away from snocross, Team Arctic/Christian Bros. Racing pro Logan Christian made a rare appearance at a cross-country. Christian showed periods of blazing speed, but he suffered from icing goggles for most of the race and swapped for several new pair to no avail. He finished 10th on the day.
Chad Lian looked strong, fast and consistent all day, finishing 7th.
Cody Kallock continued his second-half-of-the-season charge, finishing fourth in Pro Stock class. His brother Timmy took second in the Semi Pro 600 Stock final, then opted to race the Pro class later in the day. But a tangle with one of the gnarly holes during the first lap put Timmy out of the race and into the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a severely bruised leg.
The above three images are of Wes Selby, who returned to the Pro podium at Warroad.
In the first image, Selby flies past Tucker Hibbert, who was in Warroad to help me repair my son’s sled (and for a Hot Stuff Pizza promotion). I keep pressuring Tucker to try cross-country, and he keeps ignoring me. I think we all need to yell a little louder.
Congrats to Wes for his resurgent run at Warroad!
The star of the show at Warroad was none other than Zach Herfindahl of the Christian Bros. Racing team.
Dealing with broken left thumb sustained while racing in Park Rapids the week prior, Zach had his hand in a cast with a modified glove, which made corning and braking very difficult.
But it seemed to have no impact on his jumping ability, as Zach looked like his normal self.
Herfindahl rode fast, smart and in control to capture his third win of the season and put a virtual lock on the Pro Stock points championship (all he has to do is start this weekend’s final event in Walker, Minn.).
I continue to be amazed by this guy. Winning in Warroad with a casted hand and broken thumb only adds to my amazement.
Great job to Zach and all the racers who competed in Warroad! See you in a couple days at Walker.
Thanks for reading.
Zach dutifully obliges my request for a post-race photo highlighting his casted hand.
I wonder if it was pure coincidence that the cast is green?