Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Cross on the Block

Another day of Cross in Tulsa. My lungs and sinuses were worked over from Ruts N Guts, and the weather was hot. I didn't feel great, but I figured that would be the case for everyone in the group. There were tons of thorns on the course. Each time I rode a warmup lap I'd come back to find a dozen or so goatheads in each tire. I had Tufos and they had some sealant in them, so I figured that would be the best bet against flatting. It was another race with a pretty good payout, so many of the fast guys from last night stuck around.

I got a fairly good start, but screwed up a turn and stalled out about halfway through the first lap, getting passed by a bunch of guys. After some chasing, I got into a large chase group who were sort of looking around and were just not going all that fast. Bryan Fawley was gone already and this was the race for second. I sat in for a while, but decided it wouldn't be to my advantage to try and cover attacks out of that group. I thought my legs were pretty good, so put in a soft attack on a gravel section, then really went at the runup on the back side. This worked and I shed everyone except Jonny Sundt. He sat on me for a lap then attacked on a switchback and was gone.

Another dusty day in Tulsa

I still was feeling pretty good at this point. Jeff Winkler was coming up behind me and was gapping the chasers behind him, so I thought it would be good to go with him when he caught up. It was right about then that my efforts from last night and my attack really caught up with me. Every time I tried to stand up to accelerate, both quads would start to lock up. I've had troubles like this at the end of hard road races, but never in cross before. So Wink caught me and I just couldn't go with him. I stayed alone for awhile, trying to stay smooth and under control, but I really was struggling. Steve Tilford caught up from some earlier flats and just as he was going by we hear over the mic that there are 4 laps to go (Fawley must have just gone through the S/F line) Anyway, this was at 47 minutes into the race! I was thinking there would probably be 2 or maybe even just 1 to go when we came through.

At this point, the legs were in full shutdown mode. Steve rode away and I got passed by Tom Price and Ray Hall, a Tulsa guy. I could also see that Will Gault and Bill Marshall were coming up to me also. I finally got to the last lap, and was able to barely hold on for 7th. I also had both tires bleeding air pretty badly. My front tire was folding over on every corner on the last lap. My race time ended up being 70 minutes for 12 laps. Pretty brutal. Despite completely blowing up, the course was super fast. I averaged 16mph again, even with the last laps being as slow as they were.

One lesson is to bring tough tires to Tulsa, and bring some Stan's sealant. You could probably sell it at a premium to other racers if you were really entrepreneurial.

I was going to head out to the Boulevard Cup for some more racing, but i'm opting to save the legs for Louisville this weekend.

 Update: Thanks to the promoters who promptly sent me the results, which are now up on

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