Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Manions CX

"I thought you were in Madison?"

About a dozen people asked me this when I got to Manions Cross this weekend. The original plan had been to head to Madison directly from St. Louis. However, work happened and there was no way I could get away for Thursday and Friday. Thus, Manions.

I didn't expect there would be very many people in the open race this weekend, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the field were a good size both days. The weather was great, (unlike Madison where it was quite rainy I hear) and the course was again tough.

Saturday's course was an exercise in fighting gravity. It seemed like every corner was downhill / off camber, and it was very easy to overcook things. The start was in a opposite direction spur on the course, and Travis took the holeshot and led the whole first lap. I had told the guys to be ahead of me since I thought I'd probably crash somewhere and didn't want to take anyone out. By the end of the first lap it was Travis in the lead, then Jon Schottler, Me, JP, then the rest of the field. Unfortunately, Travis took a wrong turn into the start spur and Schottler took off. I moved into 2nd to chase, but gained no ground in pursuit. At some point I did crash, but not hard and was able to continue just fine. Not much changed after this point from my viewpoint except Schottler kept gaining on us.
The Course - CCW Sat, CW Sun

Sunday's course was much better for me. Many of the tricky corners were now uphill power corners. Schottler was not racing, so the field seemed like it was a bit thinner, but at the last minute, Brian Jenson and Bill Stolte showed up, so it looked like another good race. Jenson led the first lap, but rolled a tire near the end of the lap. I'm not sure how he got that back together, but he did. I moved into the lead at that point and immediately had a pretty decent gap to the chase. After 3 laps I had a solid 20 second cushion, so I tried to stay very consistent and upright. Behind I saw that Travis and Jenson were in a battle for second place with Stolte right behind them. Travis had a big crash in the one major off-camber corner with a fast approach, and ended up third.
Thanks Mark Breeding for this cool shot

The Colavita/Parisi guys did a great job again at putting on a very fun and unique course that forced you work on your turning skills! That will certainly pay off in future races. My Ethos team had another solid weekend.

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