Monday, September 26, 2011

Cyclocross has begun!

I was unsure how I would perform in cross this year do to the inconsistency of my training most of the year. Last year I was finishing in the 10ish range in the B’s. This year I would like to win a B race. I started training about a month ago with the Tailwind Double X weekend on the 17th and 18th being my first race.

Double X Day 1

B Race

My legs felt pretty good going into Saturday’s race. I arrived early and rode a couple laps of the course. I was a little rusty at doing the flyover, but I figured I would get the hang of it again during the race. When I made it over to line up, the front row was full and I had to start in the second row. The whistle blew and we were off… well mostly, as I had trouble clipping in and ended up about 20th. The first lap was congested, but I managed to work my way up through the field. I think I passed about 8 guys on the straight away. I felt pretty good the next couple of laps. I was with a group for a while and then worked to bridge up to a Rhino and rode with him for a couple laps. My biggest issue was the barriers as I suck at remounting my bike and guys would pull a gap that I would have to close every lap. Between having to pass people on the first lap and closing the barrier gap, I was slowing down and couldn’t keep pace with the Rhino and he ended up beating me by about 10s. I finished 5th, which is a big improvement over last year and a great start!

Double X Day 2

B Race

I again arrived early and rode the course. My legs were still feeling good and this time I would get to start in the front row. I made sure I clipped in quick and sprinted to the start of the course and settled in at about 5th wheel. At the end of the 1st lap, I was sitting 4th wheel and feeling great. I was riding behind a Greyhound and we had a pretty good gap on the 5th place guy. He was slowing, so I made a pass and pushed the pace. Then… as I was making a fast left hand turn, my front wheel caught something wrong and dug in. This sent me over the bars head first into the ground. It took me a second to get up and take inventory. I seemed to be ok, but feeling banged up. The bike was fine outside of the chain was off. I quick put it back on and was riding again. At this point I wasn't sure where I was at in the field and just hung with the group that was near me. I figured I was still top 10 as I knew everyone in the group and they were decent riders. I just sat in for a couple of laps as I wasn't feeling 100% from the crash and my vision wasn't quite right. After a couple laps, I saw that we were catching Brad Lako. I went to the front of the group and started to push the pace. They ended up dropping off and I managed to bridge to Brad with a lap to go. I sat on his wheel till the end and managed to win the sprint for 7th. Thinking that my contact wasn't in right, I stuck my finger in my eye to adjust it a little only to find it wasn't there. I then managed to dig it out of the corner of my eye and I could see again!

Masters 35+ Race

Being that I am a little crazy, I also entered the Masters 35+ race. I figured I would just hang on as long as I could and it is good practice as I don’t have a CX course set-up in my back yard. The start was fast and I was with a group for about a half a lap, then I just settled into my own pace. I didn’t get lapped, but did get passed by the lead Woman and most of the Master’s 45+. Kelly Patterson was also catching me which motivated me to finish strong. It was a fun 45 mins, but the legs were only good for one race.

Stomach of Anger – East Lansing

I entered this race because it is part of another series that I thought I would be able to race. I wasn’t sure what to expect for a course, but Joe Lekovich was excited about it as it is part of a series with his race called Mad Anthony which is down in Detroit. The course was long and bumpy, but had a lot of different style turns that I felt suited my strengths. The competition looked steep and I doubted myself a little. I secured a front spot, the whistle blew and we were off. I managed to fall in at about 5th wheel and soon after 4th wheel. One UofM guy was off the front and stayed there till the end. I was with a group of 3 giving chase that grew to 4 and then back to 3. The pace was near my limit, so I just sat in. My not so great barrier/remount skills caused me to have to bridge a gap every lap after the barriers. By the last lap, I was starting to feel it and the guys in front started to push the pace a little. About half way through the last lap, I started to crack and then found myself off the back of the group. I rode the rest of the lap in for 4th with no one in sight behind.

Next race is the Tailwind Munson CX night race on October

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