Monday, November 12, 2007

Race Pace CX

Race Pace Cross
Masters 3/4
Sykesville, MD
11/11/07

My original plan was to do Beacon, but we had some stuff come up with work, etc. and my schedule got messed up so I opted to stay local.

This was my third time doing this race and the course has changed every year. I'd say this was the best yet and with a few tweaks it could be a super track. The best way to describe it is fast and conducive to group racing. It has some bumpy grass sections, a few tricky turns, a decent little climb, and one technical off-camber section. Mostly you are just flying around with nothing to slow you down. Zero dismounts. Just one small log that is easy to hop. With a set of planks at the base of one of the short, steep rises you'd have a nice run-up.

Bernie and I lined up front row with the rest of the crew. I got the hole shot and punched it on the first climb. Matt Michel went with me and I pulled him around the first lap. The course had a lot of drafting sections and he was content to sit on even though we had a decent little gap.

Coming up the finish straight of lap one he was still on my wheel and started to sprint for the bikereg prime. I was hoping to just keep a steady tempo, but I also didn't want to give away the prime so I jumped and beat him to the line.

After that I needed to recover. There was a big group of about 6 or 8 guys chasing and I knew I had a choice of blowing up or recovering. Easy choice. I slowed and recovered.

When that group made contact I could see Bernie dangling just off the back so I went really slow through the next few turns to help him make him contact with the group. As soon as Bernie got back on Karl Konnelly from LSV attacked.

I went with him and Barry Holman and Ron Huebner tagged on too. That strung out the group and Roger Masse was a few more wheels back. Seeing that Roger was not with us the four of us decided to work together to keep him from bridging. We drilled it the next two laps and just rolled it really well trading pulls. Karl took some monster pulls and really made the difference in us getting a solid lead. Huebner was getting gapped and just dangling a few seconds back the whole time.

With 2 to go I worked my way to the front by working some cornering mojo to get past Barry and then Karl. There was a bunny-hoppable log late each lap followed by a grassy rise up to the finishing straight. On the penultimate lap I took the log at speed and sprinted up the rise. Behind me Holman had a little trouble on the log and lost momentum. That held up the other guys too.

Seeing that I had a gap I went all out and buried myself to make it stick. I made myself truly hurt the first half of the last lap before I looked back and saw that I had the winning gap. Then I just made sure I rode it cleanly. I came up the finishing straight and had time to zip up the skinsuit and raise my arms across the line.

race pace cx 07 finish

That gives me the points to upgrade to cat 2 which I hope to do at the end of the season. Then I'll be able to get my ass kicked in elite masters next year.

It felt awesome winning again. The cool thing is that Melanie and the boys were there cheering me on. Thor was yelling "go Dada" each time I came by. That gave me a tremendous boost each lap. I may never win another bike race so I'm really happy that they got to see me win this one.

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Post-race some buddies from The Morning Ride busted out a big bottle of Brooklyn Local One for a celebratory recovery beverage. That capped off a fun race in style!

6 comments:

Scott T. said...

Chris,

Congrats. Great win. I expect you'll do just fine in the elite Masters.

JeffA said...

Chris - Excellent effort. You were the marked man I think but no one could take it from you. Not sure what happened to Matt? I agree by adding some barriers on one of those hills...that would make for some fun...like the grassy one between pavements or even prior to the off camber section near finish. If it was at all wet - that steep hill would have been unrideable...which would have been fun too. Kick some butt in Elite Masters!!

MRussell said...

Nice Win, Congrats.

Sorry I missed the race and the chance to watch your rear wheel ride away from me into the distance....

Smack 'em silly in Elite Masters.

Lej said...

Good work.

Scott T. said...

I just realized, looking at that picture....It's the white socks that made you fast. (and while we're looking at the picture, you need to work on that salute. A little more arm extension. Perhaps the single pumped fist.)

thanks for the thoughts on tubulars.

Chris said...

Those are my Thor socks given to me by Dieter vanDerVlinder. I think I got a little bit faster by association.

As far as the salute I'm a novice.

I'll have to see what the LEJ CXFit master plan has to say about victory salutes.