We were greeted with true cyclocross weather on Saturday -- 60-65 degrees, clouds, and RAIN. When the master's started at 10:00, the first few laps were pretty fast. However, by the end of their race the course was already turning to mud and sections were becoming unrideable.
By the time 2:00 came around, the course was a huge mud fest. 21 riders lined up for the 1/2 race. I got a decent start, but didn't get unclipped while making a 180 half way through the first lap and went down. I got back on the bike quickly, but lost a few positions. After reeling a few riders back, I found myself riding with Micah Gordon. Over the next couple of laps, we slowly began to lose shifting until both of us were essentially on singlespeeds (neither of us had pit bikes). Luckily, the one functioning gear I had was the 39-25, so I was able to ride most of the uphill sections of the course although I was completely spun out on any flat sections. With one to go, I noticed I was gaining on 6th place, and I made a move just after the barriers into the finish. Taking a risk, I shifted up a few gears and managed to get around him just before the finish line for a 6th place finish.
Immediately after my race on Saturday, the weather cleared up and the sun came out. By 2:00 on Sunday, 95% of the course was hero dirt. Unlimited traction just about everywhere. Unfortunately, the entire course felt like it was uphill today, since the only major downhill section was a series of 180 degree corners.
24 guys lined up today. I got a first row start and was in the top 5 out of the finishing straight. I got passed by a few guys in the initial tight corners, and eventually settled into 9th place. Wesley Boyce (Cycle City), Britton Kusiak (Colavita/Parisi), and I rode much of the race within 5 seconds of each other. With 3 or 4 to go, I noticed we were gaining on Shadd Smith (KCCX/Fuji), but I was too gassed to bridge the gap. For 2 laps, the gap stayed around 5-10 seconds, but eventually Shadd, Wesley, and Britton all pulled away.
I still managed a top 10 finish (barely, at 10th place), but I can tell I haven't put in any intense training yet. There's still plenty of time for that if I'm wanting to get out to Nationals in January this year. Major props to Garet Steinmetz for taking the win on a full suspension mountain bike. Dude has a huge motor and some awesome bike handling skills -- check out the video of him riding Mr. Stitches here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stCdBayLV68
|Pretty awesome shot of the course on Saturday. Photo credit goes to Chris Thomas.|
|Over Mr Stitches.|
|Over Mr. Stitches again, at the point in the race where I was running out of gas.|