Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spin Cyclocross Race

As I sit here in pain all over and a headache I am actually kind of happy. I had a great A race today at the Spin Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die race, no matter how you put it. I paid for it dearly in bruises. It all started in warm-up when I tried to dismount before the log in the parking lot and my left cleat did not release putting me to the ground right at the log. My front wheel hit first as I fell and the sudden stop of momentum sent my right knee hard into the bar or stem. That stiffened up all race day. Anytime I stopped and got moving it was hard to pedal at first.

I have been thinking about this race since last year when I had a good race (till the end when I crashed a few times due to exhaustion) and a lot since the Leroy CX race. I needed to get a great start and I did. I was in the top 7 I think as we headed for the first 180 hillclimb. I was on my single speed again.

When your on a SS the first lap in traffic is hard. One reason a SS is so fast is because you have to ride them balls to the walls. So when we hit the approach I gunned it up the hill and started to pass a Lake Effect rider on the left. But being so heavily overgeared I started to lose speed and as we hit the stick he cut tight to the stick cutting me off completely which left me to almost track stand for a second as he passed right in front of me. And once stopped there is NO way to get going so I hooked left and my left foot caught the stick, I went flipping down tangled in my bike and my great start was done. I was so dejected when I saw what seemed like the whole field going by. I mean I was like "F@#$@, Might as well quit".

I got passed by a couple guys in open fields which wasnt a good sign, but I got my head screwed on and started going the right way through the field. I caught single riders bit by bit and watched as Thom Domonic flew up the running hill like last year. Then I saw two LE riders riding nose to tail and finally caught them. One was Rudy and the other Craft. We battled for laps, back and forth wed go and gaps would open and close. I was riding the corners faster and faster but was slow out so I was not in a position to pounce on them till the end of the lap. My remounts really sucked today too, but I was quite quick after the bleachers and around the sweeper for some reason and through the baseball diamond.
looked like a wall when approaching it
Finally Jeff made mistake and had to tap a foot on the super steep wall of a climb and now I was between them. Strategically I knew this was my chance to get by and start opening it up. Now they would have to follow me slow out of the corners, then I would hopefully get on top of my gear and roll. I followed Rudy and made the pass going into the baseball diamond and tried to open the gap right away. I went hard because Thom, Zak, Hollaran had been closing the gap to us and I couldnt get Jeff or Rudy till they were split.
mudpit got nasty for the A race
I went hard down the hill before the first uphill 180, sprinted through the rocks and then the hay and then BAM I was on the ground. Front wheel washed out. I was going that hard because I was getting tired and I needed max momentum to make getting to the 180 easier. My right knee got trapped between the top tube and bars and again I got to watch rider after rider come by. At least I had already opened up a little gap and I had been going for it!! All out!!

This time when i got up I was going no where fast. Luckily with two to go I only lost one more position to Dan Quinlan. I didn't say before, but my left lower back was hurting anyways and combined with the hard body slam to the ground I pretty much was done. This time it wasnt mental. I was discharged, no batteries left.I rolled in at about 70% effort and called it a day. My family, bro and sister in law were there and I was bummed they didn't get to see me racing with Martin, Gamm, Ernesto and Matt Weeks if only for a couple laps early on. But I got the start I wanted, felt fine at the front and I was fast for awhile on my SS.

I got a bigger surprise at awards at The Willoughby Brewing company when the guys I was racing with were top 10!!! Congrats guys-I had a blast racing you all today. So I was about 7th when I went down on lap one and battled back to 8th or 9th when I hit the deck the 2nd time. Damn thats sweet!! I mean I am not trying to say I am proud of hitting the deck 3x times today just that I kept going after the first and clawed my way back to the top 9 at least (out of 30). I ended just out of the money with a 16 to 17th place finish to boot.

It was a tough day and because of the crashes I wont make Orville tomorrow and lost some points for the Lake Effect series. Bummer. I need to rest up now. Really sucks because I havent had a real solid week of riding in a long time. Always getting banged up. But I can see how the SS is helping my power and strength and the mountain biking my much needed technical skills. Its been tough, but overall the cyclocross racing has been going great. and if I can plug Zak's Dieringer SS, its been rock solid and I love it.

And a big thanks to Spin for another well run race, great purse for the A/Masters race and another amazing and exhausting course. Pics of the C race at my Flickr

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