I closed out the 2010 cyclocross season by heading on out to beautiful Fitchburg, MA to contest the singlespeed category at the New England Cyclocross Championships, I was originally planning on doing the category 3 race the next day, but I needed to fly to California that day for family vacation, so I converted one of my bikes to singlespeed in about ten minutes on Friday night and I was ready to go on Saturday.
I drove out with Dave Chiu, who I really wanted to hang out with during the race because every time he is near me during a race it lights a fire in my soul.
The start, the holeshot was not to be mine, photo: Abel Tomkinson
So anyways, went to the start, and lined up on the first row of 2 because I'm pro like that and some "scrub" behind me commented he feared my holeshot winning abilities. Anyhow, when we got the go I did not win the holeshot but I quickly settled into third wheel behind Shawn Mottram and Chris Borrello and we went not terribly hard for the first lap or two. Racing singlespeed is weird like that, because you have a speed limit. The field was lined out like that for the first lap and change.
The bunch early on hitting the fly-over, I'm in 3rd, photo: Abel Tomkinson
After 2 laps the lead group was whittled down to Mottram on the front, Borrello in 2nd and me in third. I was at the front of a bike race and it was business time.
I was pretty content to sit on the group because I couldn't really go over the limit and attack because I only had one speed, and it was windy. I thought about attacking a couple of times, but then remembered that is a pretty easy way to ruin my day.
I'm somehow still in the lead group midway through the race, photo: Abel Tomkinson
Things stayed the same for a while until we hit the finish line at 2 laps to go and Mottram attacked. Borrello didn't respond so I jumped around him and tried my darnedest to chase down Mottram, dropping Borrello in the process . For the next lap and a half I was chasing hard, but I couldn't close the gap, Mottram was gone and I had to keep going if I wanted to keep Borrello at bay to get 2nd place.
Just after the attack by Mottram, now I'm in 2nd, photo: Abel Tomkinson
But, it was windy, and Borrello had a better gearing, he caught me and sat on my wheel for the last half a lap while pathetically tried to shake him. At the last 180 before the finish, he took the inside line and got away from me to take 2nd, I rolled in for 3rd place. I was disappointed for about 3 seconds and then I realized it was the first top 3 I had gotten since 2008 at the Penn State Collegiate B Downhill races.
Podium? Sweet! photo: Dave Chiu
Then I stood on a podium for the first time ever at a bike race. What a great way to cap off the season.