Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mercer Cup Race Report.

First, let me just say McKittrick wrote a great wrap up of how terribly the event was organized and how lame the course was, which can be found here.

Now on to my race report.

Day 1

I actually skipped day one to attend the ECCC annual fall meeting and add some input to the new rule changes as an "officer" of the ECCC (ok I'm the web guru). It was fun and followed it up by a dinner with some friends in downtown Hoboken, NJ. Which I understand was pretty fortunate because from what I'm told the day 1 conditions were terrible and seriously lame. So I'm glad I missed it.

Day 2

Anyways, I spent the evening at my uncle's house and woke up at 6 to head down to the event, for my 9:30 start. (Sidenote: Why do I have to race 9:30, I've been loving the 12:30 starts in New England).

Got to the course, registered and picked up a transponder which I guess was really important and headed over to my car to pre-ride. At which point I ran into McKittrick, who told me "Don't even bother pre-riding dude, it's a waste of time." I nodded and assumed he was wrong and off to pre-ride I went.

About 8 seconds into my lap I realized McKittrick was right and I wished I hadn't decided to ride as huge globs of mud were attaching to my frame, so lame. I eventually finished the lap and headed over to the bike wash, but the line was to long, and then went to the power-wash, and the line was to long. So I just grabbed the huge clumps of grass off my frame and hung out with Eric and Cornell Jake by my car until it was time to start.

When I got to the start I lined up and realized I made two major mistakes, one being I had forgotten to put on my transponder and the other is that I had put my number on the wrong side, oops. After the go I just tried to hang in and I slogged through the course with everybody else. It sucked, it was hard, I moved backwards, but I eventually found a rythm. Which was totally ruined by some weird black tape getting stuck in my rear cassette, forcing me to stop and lose twenty places in the process while removing the obstruction.

(Mud everywhere, Photo: Joe Mallis)

Back on the bike I went and eventually started to pass people. When disaster strikes again and I can't pedal. So again I stop, lose 5-10 places and dig grass out of the rollers on my derailleur only to find a pebble stuck between and I remove it. Away I go again and it's finally the last lap, I finished the last slog around the course and looked forward to crossing the finish line. But I don't get the chance, because as I reach the last gravel section I hear the Masters Race go off in the distance, and when I reach the finishing straight an official pulls me off and records my number. Lame. Final result: 73rd of 78 finishers.

(I only added 5lbs of grass and mud to the bike)

In summation it was hot, the course sucked, the mud sucked, and I had bad luck. At least Joe Kopena and Caitlin had been cheering on my pathetic efforts.

Heckle of the race goes to Joe Kopena: "Hopengarten, I can see that kit from a mile away!"

Post race, had lunch, pitted to Linnea in the Women's Elite race and helped Jake with the CX Magazine live commentary. Spent the night in NJ with Kat at awesome host housing and gave him a ride to LaGuardia on Monday.

(Pro Tip from Kat: "Saran wrap Bike boxes")

Note:
I Am captain consistency, just check out this chart:
(Oh yeah, I am so consistent. from: crossresults.com)

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