|USGP Madison Day 1 Course|
|USGP Madison Day 2 Course|
During my pre-ride, Bill Marshall gave me some good advice on the lead into the run up - run down too. It totally made sense. I did that on every lap, and afterward people were telling me they planned to do the same for their races because it looked much faster. Thanks Bill!
Ok, so on to the race, I somehow showed up late to the call-ups, so I had to beg to squeeze up between riders on the 2nd and 3rd rows. I think they started staging early, because the winner from Sat, Mark Parmelee, was nowhere to be seen. In fact he showed up even later then I did, and had to squeeze in as well. Today, I lined up on the left after getting pinched on the right yesterday.I was a bit frazzled after showing up late, but Ty Henson bailed me out by grabbing my warmup gear for me at the start. Thanks Ty!
Off we go! The race started and I got out like a banshee. By the time we hit the grass I was sitting pretty in 5th postition. Over the barriers I moved up to third. By the time we hit the new open grassy section, I was in the lead and not looking back. Through the trees, around the pits, down the bomber hill. By the time I got to the run up, I had a bit of a gap to second place, probably 2-3 seconds. I screwed up and crashed just before coming back through the start finish line, but had enough time to get back up and get going before loosing any spots.
Through the second lap, I saw that Mark and a Clif Bar rider, Jordan Cullen, were keeping me close. Probably within 5 seconds. I kept on the gas, tried to be smooth and keep an eye on the chase. I felt really solid and the course was just making sense. I almost wiped out again in my favorite place to crash on the course, but kept it upright (though turned fully perpendicular to the course).
On lap three, I got the feeling that the chase was slowing, so I really tried to open up the gap this lap. It worked, I turned my fastest lap time of the day, and the gap was now 40 seconds.
Thanks to a fast first lap, we got to do 7 laps today compared to 6 yesterday. With two to go, the gap was steady, and I was starting to navigate through some lapped traffic, which went smoothly. I focused on riding clean and was able to go fast on the fast parts and relax in the others. It felt good to battle back for a win.
Some other race weekend items of note:
- It was fun to hang out with the Lincoln crew for the weekend, and it was awesome to have race tips and support from other KC crossers. One of the coolest things about the big out-of-state races is bonding a bit more with other area riders, regardless of differing teams.
- I have really enjoyed using my Garmin Edge 500 this season. My favorite feature is the "Auto Lap" setting, which automatically takes splits for each lap. This is really helpful in 'cross because after races, you can see how the race unfolded by the numbers. Plus you get great GPS maps as well. This has been a great training tool for me.
- The Crux is a noticeable upgrade from the Tricross. The front end handles so much better, I've especially noticed this in technical sections, where the Tricross was more of a "pull the front end around", the Crux is more "point and shoot". (ps: Todd Wells is already riding a full carbon Crux - and not the current Tricross-Crux, a real one. It looks awesome. I'd imagine some site will have photos soon enough)
- Thanks to the Clif bar rep who gave me a free box of shot rox and some clif shots upon learning that I got second place on Sat.