Sunday, September 30, 2012

Liberty Park CX (photos added)

Well another race is in the books! This was a special one as Stark Velo went all out and put on an amazing race and course. I've been talking to them about this race and their plans for it and they definitely pulled through and I know that each year it's going to be bigger and better!

The course was set in an open field, with a couple mounds and a decent size climb and a treacherous sand pit. Overall, it was a more open course then previous courses but 3 barriers and a log made kept the difficulty high. There would be nowhere to hide and no place to rest on the course.

Made it to the course early to check out the early action and make sure I was ready and warmed up before the start (wasn't going to make that mistake again!) Went and picked up my packet and saw Molly Hurford selling her new book Mud, Snow, and Cyclocross: How 'Cross Took Over US Cycling and The Girl With the Cowbell Tattoo fame. She was super nice and really enjoying herself and spoke highly of our series. We had a nice talk about our cyclocross racing and she threatened to put me into the tape if she passed me. It was really nice that she came down to our little race series and took time out of her busy schedule to make an appearance! We also had Scott Mares from who emceed the race!

Well now on to the racing bit. After the "Little Belgian" race Scott, Zac and I went out on the course to do a preview lap. I was feeling really good and liking the course. On the second lap I decided I'd try hopping the log. Well, this didn't go well as I caught my chaingaurd and put a huge dent in it. Which kept throwing the chain. Luckily this was my pit bike, (gives reason why I warmup on the pit bike!) so it wasn't a huge deal since today would be a dry day. I went back to my car and pulled out my tool kit and bent it back enough so it wouldn't interfere with the chain.

After getting that sorted out, I dropped off my bike and spare wheels in the pit and caught my mom as she was pulling in. It's always nice to have friend and family come out. It gives you extra motivation and I always enjoy it because they can be a part of something they've been so supportive with.

Got on the trainer and warmed up, went around and talked to the other racers, blah blah blah. Now to the race, what the three of you came here for! I got called up third and choose my normal far right position against the barriers. The gun went off and I was third wheel into the first turn. I quickly passed second and then hammered past the leader and just put the hammer down. I had planned that all week as the beginning of my races haven't gone to plan as of lately. I call it my end of first lap curse. I always bombed the last part of the first lap, lose places and then move back up. This week I thought I'd get to the very front and hopefully not lose as many places and have a chance to fight back. My teammate latches onto my front wheel and we start getting a sizable gap on the field. I startled to feel the bad feelings coming and then we hit the sand pit, which zapped any energy that I might have had. I got off the bike and ran up the hill because I had lost all my energy and watched a place after place went by me. I knew I was in a bad way, but I knew the only thing to do was to race my race and it would turn around.

I started to feel better and when the leader of the womens race Sally Price passed me I jumped on her wheel and started to pick off positions again. I passed 3-4 people but I'm still not sure where I finished as the three fields mixed and I didn't realize they had posted the results but just our numbers and not our names. Overall,  a great weekend and kudos to all my teammates who races hard and we had a number in the prize money!

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