Monday, October 19, 2009

New England Velo-Cross Challenge Race Report

I arrived pretty early, I'd say 10:30 for a 1pm start, just enough time to watch a couple of the Men's Masters races. Then I went around and checked out the course, pretty odd for a CX race. Had some woods sections with tough uphill turns, some single-track and some off-camber stuff and other wooded sections, followed by 3 or 4 incredibly tight turns on gravel. Then you went on a flat for a bit and did some super bumpy loops on the track infield before doing 2/3 of a lap on the track before going back up the hill into the woods. Basically, it was a mountain bike race, it was awesome.

Got a front row start, which of course amounted to nothing and immediately found myself at the back. Had to run the initial wooded section amidst twenty some-odd Cat 3's and 4's as it was a total clusterf**k. Anyways, race lines out, I pass a few people and then settle into a rhythm. I moved my way up with a Seven Cycles rider and heard a fan say he was in 9th place (putting me in tenth). This was the closest I'd ever been to the front of a cross race, EVER. Unfortunately sometime later a crashed a bit and lost 3 spots. But I quickly got going and fought may way up. At the halfway point of the race I had cleared my core of chasers and only had a geekhouse rider to contend with. He continuously would catch me as we hit the track and then I would sit on his wheel and then get around him and go into the woods first. Anyways, this tactic worked for 3 laps until he passed me much earlier in the infield and stayed away at 1 lap to go. But I figured I was doing pretty well and I'd continue to ride my race until the end.

Had I known where I was in the race I would have tried to sit on his wheel, because as I came through the finish after 56 minutes and 49 seconds I learned he finished 5th and I was only 5 seconds out of the money finishing in 6th. Dammit.

Whatever, great race, great weather, fun course and my best 'cross result ever, and best race result of 2009. Let's hope the trend continues.

Other Race Notes:
  • Shout out to Mike of Back Bay, who absolutely demolished the race, winning with a two and a half minute gap, it was pretty spectacular. Then goes on to get 2nd in the 1/2/3 race later in the day.
  • Some how JElie lost a cartridge brake pad, but the pin that held it in place was still there, WTF?
  • Heckle of the day goes to Emma: "I thought white shoes mean you don't get tired"
  • Second Placed heckle of the day goes to Andy "Steve Beat Jeff [pause] Jeff Beat Steve!" As Jeff and I are riding together.
  • Race winner clocked a time of 52 minutes +, we were only supposed to race for 40. Same kind of thing int he Men's 4 (winner at 40 Minutes, scheduled for 30) and the Women's 4 Race (46 Minutes, scheduled for 30). I mean, I'm not complaining that I got to do more racing, but just seems odd...

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