I did my first cross race of the season. In fact, other then the arse-whooping I got last year at the Ed Sanders cross race, I haven’t raced cyclocross in two years. Last year I was “training” for a marathon and was lucky to survive the A race. So, this year I decided to slowly step back in rather than dive head first into the shallow end of the pool. I did the B race, not because I figured I could sandbag, but because the competition seems to be getting soooo much faster. I’ve looked at the results and think I would be lucky to finish 2nd to last in the A race. The B field is stacked with cat 2, 3, and 4 roadies, expert mtb’ers, and rejects like me. I didn’t know what to expect out of my body, but knew my skills would blow. Especially the mounting and remounting sections.

Well expectedaly my skills sucked. However, others apparently were having a tough time too. Some sections were causing mayhem, inparticular a slick, off-camber turn near the start put some riders down. I also heard complaints about the course being “bumpy”. I guess in hindsight it was. Having a mountain bike background must sort of numb me to such sensations – but I guess “bumpy”is a good way to characterize the mostly grass course.

It was a hard fought race. The start was a crazy 30m paved stretch to a 180 turn onto the grass. It was actually kind of fun to see the pile up…like a Nascar race. You can see from the pic below my position was not so good….I am to the far left with red jersey.  The tall-stack looking confused. And my seasonal beard.


I didn’t sweat the start as my expectations were pretty low. I mean, I wanted to do well and was going to fight like hell, but with so much stress at school lately I wasn’t about to stress this. I love biking and when it starts stressing me out it’s time to quit.

Here’s another good pic of my fabulous starting position. A crash near the start of the race on the off camber downhill turn spread things out quick. The scene of the crash is just behind me and to the left, but at this point in the pic things had cleared up.


I poached these pix from Chris Nystrom’s blog – he’s the one charging at the front in this photo
hill.jpgThe hill/run-up –

barriers.jpgThe barriers – Nystrom, with me chasing onto the lead group

Well the eventual winner (Todd Hesel) decided to crush us all – by a lot – leaving the rest to battle for scraps. I took 2nd in the end when the guy ahead of me lost some steam on the steep “run-up” (which everyone was riding) and crashed. I was on his wheel at the time and simply needed to avoid him to take his place. Sucks to lose 2nd that way, but karma is a bitch and I am paid in full until 2010. I think I deserve some breaks going my way now and then.

Well – I will do another B race this weekend. If the legs are good and results ok then I may jump in with the A-honchos again. The Army 10 Miler may put a damper on this strategy as my legs are shot.


~ by Indy on October 8, 2006.

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