With only one race remaining in the Emerald City Cyclocross Series, the final race at Kelly Creek Farms in Sumner, Washington (worth double series points), will determine the leader of the 2005 series. Only six points separate the top three spots currently occupied by Josh Squires (Recycled Cycles), Richard McClung (Broadmark Capital) and John Christian-Flack (the Valley).
Coming off an impressive third place at the U-23 race in San Francisco, Morgan Schmitt riding for Redline has been one of the key riders in the Emerald City Cyclocross Series. While still a devoted member of his fraternity, Schmitt has acknowledged that moving out of the frat house this year has allowed him to focus more on school and cycling. This has resulted in numerous top three finishes at races throughout the series and a win at the always challenging Fort Steilacom course in Tacoma, Washington. During most of the season, Schmitt has dueled with the other riders in the top four of the Emerald City Cyclocross Series: Josh Squires, Rich McClung and John Christian Flack.
After retiring from the elite road racing scene, Richard McClung (Broadmark Capital) has focused exclusively on cyclocross, except for the team time trial this summer, setting his sights on the Masters 40-45 National Title in Providence next month. With more than twenty years of racing under his belt, including years of US national team experience, McClung moved to the Seattle area only a few years ago and has become staple of the Pacific Northwest racing scene. With a focus on high RPM leg speed and focusing on the basics in training, McClung has pulled through with big wins, like the State Time Trial Championships, on little more than home made poster board disk wheels and the usual pre race meal of a Coke and Snickers. Until recently, McClung had a consistent streak of races in the Emerald City Cyclocross Series where he finished in the top three. Favoring fast, flowing courses like next week's Kelly Creek, McClung's odds are pretty good.
New to the elite category this season is Recycled Cycles rider Josh Squires. Consistently finishing in the top 10 in the elite races this season, Squirs won the 2005 Tour de Tunnel race at Fort Flagler State Park in Port Townsend. With a strong ride in Sunday's race at South Seatac finishing 5th, Squires amassed enough points through his consistency to take the lead in the Emerald City Cyclocross Series. However only three points separates Squires and Richard McClung, and six points separate him and John Christian Flack (third place) as of today. With only six points separating the top three and double points on the line, the Emerald City Cyclocross Series will have a climactic finish at Kelly Creek on Sunday.