Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Grote Prijs Shawnee

The final CX race of the year was a cold one. The day looked like this: a little dusting of snow on the ground, some strong winds and temperatures below freezing. It was a pretty fun compact course that looped back on itself several times, but it was not terribly slick.

I had been struck by a stomach bug for several days prior to this race, but decided to come out and work on bike handling. I guessed I would be racing for second since Shadd is really good in the snow, but it turns out
Joe Schmalz and Chris Wallace came out to make things really interesting. The start was fairly fast and I sat in behind Joe, Shadd, and Chris. It was evident that Joe was still flying coming off of his Euro CX camp racing. Shadd went with him and Chris and I were left to fight for 3rd.

I think that Chris bobbled a bit about halfway through and I was on my own the rest of the way. I ended up third overall for the series as well.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Epic Holiday CX

The Epic race was moved to Parkville this year. I rode out to the course, about a 25 mile warmup.

It was another windy day with strong winds off of the river. The course was flat but featured a lot of 180 degree turns, some slippery mud, a short sand pit that was easily rideable, and the boat landing that featured a little more sand.

Another race with fairly short laps, I think that we did 10 in around 46 minutes. Shadd and I got separated from the field very quickly and we battled back and forth quite a bit. Shadd was navigating all the turns and obstacles  better than I was, and we traded leads and little gaps back and forth. I finally was able to take the lead for good with about 3 laps to go. I got a gap just past the barriers, then was able to stretch it just a little bit on the long open section through the finish line and around the first part of the lap.

One more race on the calender before I go into full road training mode.

Monday, January 3, 2011

CX off the old year

I rode out to Cross Out the Old Year from home, riding into a 20+ mph headwind. The temperatures on the afternoon ended up dropping from 45 at noon when I left, to 25 by the time I got back. I figured riding to and from most of these post Christmas races would be a good way to get some miles and intensity in for road season.

The course was not terribly challenging except for the monster hill near the end of each lap. I'm not sure how steep it was, but there was a bit of a chicane leading into this climb, so you were not able to carry much speed into it. I could ride about 3/4 of the hill before stalling or spinning out.

Another interesting feature to the race was that it was only 40 minutes. I wasn't sure if this would have much affect on the race.

Shadd went right to the front of the group off the start, then Britton, Me, and the rest. The pace was not too fast most of the lap, so I think everyone was together. When we got to the climb, Shadd was the only one able to ride it completely, so he got a bit of a gap. I was really aggressive on the descent, so I caught up fairly quickly. At this point, we had a gap, but the two chasers were Adam Mills and Luke Linenger. So I had to go keep the pace high enough so they couldn't reconnect. The climb on lap two was about the same, except it took

me longer to catch back on. I was a little concerned about this, since the climb was the only major feature on the course and it was so close to the end of the lap.

I finally caught back on somewhere midway through lap 3, then tried to keep the pace reasonably high into the climb so that I could lead. I was still not able to ride the entire climb, but I think that my leading kept Shadd from being able to ride it, turning it into a run to the top. I was able to get a little gap from this, then charged aggressively through the rest of the lap to hold the gap. This ended up being the right move as I was able to stay clear the rest of the race.

Afterwords, I got to ride home with a 20+ mph tailwind, which was nice.