Saturday, November 13, was the UTCX race #8 held at Mount Ogden Golf Course. It was also serving double billing as the State Championship. The X-Men had a lot at stake. Steve Briley was defending his title in the Men’s 45+ category, which he had won last year at the Heber Fairgrounds course. Steve and Tim Briley have been riding great as a two-man wrecking crew, racking up multiple podium appearances, but not yet reaching the top this season. I’ve been doing battle with The Church of the Big Ring team, literally, the whole team. But with Bo Pitkin and Tim Matthews away at the USGP New Belgium Cup event in Colorado, I was looking forward to a showdown with Art O’Connor, aka The Rev aka A-Train. The course was reminiscent of the old Seven Peaks course, but with a much longer hill, and a few tricky, slicky, off camber grass sections. Everyone seemed to agree, it was worthy of a State Championship race, and everyone is looking forward to racing it again. So here is the race report, in a nutshell: Steve fought hard in the 45+ race to pull in a fine 5th place. Unfortunately for him, John McKone who has been racing 35+ A’s all year, decided to race in his actual age group, and rode away to a convincing victory. In the 35+ A’s, the epic battle between myself and A-Train took shape on the first lap, and the two of us hit each other hard until just before one lap to go, when I rolled his rear tire off my rim on a really tight corner right before the barrier section. A-Train look down and said something “aw, bummer dude,” then rolled away as I had to stop and pop it back on the rim. I was able to get close to Art the last time up the hill, but had to take it easy around all the corners on the way down, and there was just no way to keep my speed, or else risk rolling it off again. The video below from Sam Ray shows some of the action from our race. I had an opportunity slip away, but that’s cyclocross.