Condon Park is a gnarly course. It’s long, steep sections of climbing followed by loose dirt descents are possibly better suited to a mountain bike. But that said, it’s still a safe, fun course to race on a cross bike.
I ran a 42×18, same as last year. And same as last year, regretted that gear half-way though the race. It was a little too hard for the climb. Ron Shevrock won the SS with a couple smart passes that blocked me from following him on the single-track. However, even if we had an open course with no other slow racers “clogging the pipes,” Ron would have had me beat just by sheer bike handling. I had 2nd place locked up until the last lap, when an untimely crash into a fence left me on my ass for a minute, enough time for someone to catch up and pass.
Here’s a head-cam video (source unknown) that does a great job of showing the course.