Christopher Hardee, the Younger, photo credit: Monster Cross Official Race Photo
Chris, Chrisopher and Luca rode a dazzling ride at Monster Cross on Sunday 2/17/2019. Here's what Chris had to say about the day:
First things first, the weather held out til the last 10 minutes.
Monster CX is a grueling 50 mile race of attrition at high speed across twisty rolling gravel, mud, stream crossings, hard pack double-track, and brief road sections. Riders race it on mountain bikes and cross bikes. It is epic. The race is mass-start, with 400 or so riders, and the first few miles are crazy. It starts wicked fast, like a cross race, and the selection is made early. Mountain bikes can be faster on this course because some sections are sketchy and the rocks and gravel tend to destroy CX tires at high speed.
Luca Scuriatti, Christopher Hardee, and his old dad, made the early selection in a group of 10-12 riders, which were mainly top 17-18 year old juniors from Miller School, and 15-16s Luca, Christopher, and Toby Klein from the Kelly team. About 5-6 other riders made the group. The start was hard and fast, as usual.
At around mile 12 Christopher jumped away solo. As he was coming back a stick went through his front wheel. He flipped over on his head, cracking his helmet and injuring his hand and shoulder. His dad and a Miller coach (who had just been caught from the Pro/elite group that starts a few minutes ahead of the open race) stopped to help. Not knowing at the time that it was a head injury, after a few minutes Christopher and his dad started to chase hard. They chased down and went through several groups over the next 35 miles, passing everyone except the lead group. Christopher caught a few juniors including Toby toward the end.
Meanwhile Luca was up in the lead group with a few fast Miller kids and 3-4 men setting a hard pace. No other 15-16s were up there or could handle that speed. So in the end Luca won the 15-16s (2d U19) and Christopher was second 15-16 (4th U19). Hardee sr. defended his 50+ title by catching and dropping, with Christopher’s help, all the old guys who sped by while sorting out Christopher on the side of the trail. They all finished among the top 10 or so overall in the open race.
Christopher had some contusions on his forehead (and a messed up hand) but luckily the helmet saved him from a concussion or worse.
Christopher Hardee, the Elder, photo credit: Monster Cross Official Race Photo
Luca Scuriatti, photo credit: Monster Cross Official Race Photo