By Justin Eichenlaub
Published 09/15/2021; Updated 09/15/2021

Hydra Cross p/b Open Square, the NCC-supported and sponsored cyclocross race in Holyoke, was a great success. Taking place on Sunday, September 5, the race was co-directed by NCC member Justin Eichenlaub, raced by seventeen NCC members, and supported by numerous NCC volunteers including board members Al Donahue and Charlie Bailey. Hydra Cross is grateful for the incredible support and enthusiasm provided by the club, and we look forward to growing club participation in the coming years.

The forecast for Sunday’s races, which ran from 8 am until 4:30 pm, was sunny and mild. Instead, it sprinkled and drizzled throughout the day to ensure that our off-camber turns stayed slick, greasy, and challenging. The day began with our masters’ mens’ races, with the biggest field for the 60+ racers. We held an introduction to cyclocross clinic for new racers, and we were thrilled to have twenty-eight people do the clinic which was led by Emily Curley (Corner Cycle) and Chris Norvold (JAM/NCC). Most clinic participants took part in a novice race to put their new skills to the test.

Over the course of the day, we had 254 racers from every state in New England and New York, compared to 220 for the inaugural event in 2019. In addition to racing, we also had food and beer. The Holyoke Hummus Truck was on site serving up delicious lunches for racers and spectators while our race sponsor and partner the American Legion of Holyoke served beer and light snacks.

Hydra Cross is growing as a race by helping to grow cyclocross as a sport in the Connecticut River Valley. Have an idea for Hydra Cross? Want to volunteer next year? Email us at

Full race results and links to photo albums from the race can be found here.

The next local race in the valley, Ghosts of Gloucester on Sunday, October 3, takes place on the campus of UMASS Amherst. This event also features a clinic and course recon for new riders. We hope to see you there.