Sunday was the MidAtlantic Bike Racing Association (MABRA) champs in some po-donk town in northern Maryland. Actually it wasn’t a bad venue at all. The weather was again unseasonable – warm 60s. No complaint. So, the short of it is I took 5th in the As. Not bad, but I think there was only 10 guys total. TurkeyDay weekend will do that to field size. Nonetheless, at least it was 10 fast guys.
I have a running list of excuses as to why I should have done better:
2+ hour hill ride in NY killed my back which has been spasming since, and of course seized up midway through the race. My stretching practices are for crap.
My cleat decided to loosen on my left shoe. I had repositioned my cleats the night before the race so this wasn’t totally out of the blue. I am that jack-ass. The dumb-ass who makes minor, often major, repairs to my race setup the night before the race. Sometimes within 30 minutes of the gun going off. Like stretching I am a slacker with repairs. However, this was really just an annoyance and didn’t affect my performance, per se.
Finally, and most importantly, I dropped my chain and my hurried response to get it back on and get going resulted in the bloody thing getting jammed in between the crank arm and chain ring. I was in 3rd and the 3 of us up front had a bit of gap. Granted it was only the first lap, but I was feeling good. After my mishap I went right to last place (or close enough to feel that way). The announcer was killing me…”oh, Ellicott has slipped to 4th. Now 5th. Oh no, he’s gotten passed by most of the field”. F! I got going and hit the gas. A bit too hard and almost saw my PB&J come out of my nose. I made it back up to 4th, but had to throttle back, got passed by a hard charging 17 year old (Nick Bax- who eventually took 3rd) and that is where I stayed.
Ok, despite all my excuses and bitchin – it was a good race. My back felt like crap, but I managed to distance myself from the 6th place guy and widened the gap each lap. Then again, the gap ahead of me widened too, but oh well. The course was muddy – great cross stuff. Plus it was fairly techincal with off-camber slippery stuff, tight tree section turns, and some good fast sections. MidAtlantic Cross (MAC) finals this weekend. Its supposed to get cold finally. Good prep for nationals in Rhode Island.