Sunday, October 12, 2008

Totally Spent: Cross Crusade #2 at Villebois

Note: A pretty good write up is over at

I am here in the center of pic in the pink Fat Cyclist jersey. They caught me mid-cough. I nearly hacked myself to the point of puking after the finish. Jim and Jim are also pictured below. Do we look spent or what?

I finished 31st today. 153 people started in my class. So a finish in the top 1/4 is OK with me. Of course, I wish I beat Jim on his yellow Zanc, but whatever. I also wish I had placed in the top 3, but again, whatever.

I didn't take any pictures today. I had my camera in the car, but didn't feel like taking going back to get it and and hanging out any longer. Like I wrote above, when I finished I was totally spent. It took me about 15 minutes to stop coughing. I don't know what the deal was. However, I can say that I missed the onset of a cold or some sort of illness by no more than a hour or two. Sore throat, aches and the whole shebang. I can blame my oldest for this one. He is just getting over it.

Anyway...race report:

It was a really bumpy course as the 1200+ participants can attest to. I wouldn't say that it was too technical. It was much more difficult in the mud last week than this week. I had a pretty good spot at the near the front of the starting line. If only I had been in the right gear and had been clipped in. They gave us 20 seconds of warning but for whatever reason I was too retarded to get my stuff handled in time. But I didn't lose too much and I probably started off around 20th or so by the time the first lap was 1/2 way over. Jim M. was behind me pretty much the whole was until we hit the horribly bumpy sections that just tortured my lower back. Then he passed me for the last time. I stayed close and managed to finish one place behind him when we finished after 6 laps. Jim was just a hammer out there.

There were grass, gravel, hard pack dirt, asphalt, and undulating sections carved by backhoes and other heavy equipment. The only tricky stuff was were a couple of turns with gravel. I got a little too cute and laid it down once, but other than that my race was pretty clean.

My Cam-shim-pag-ano-nolo drivetrain worked really well for 2 laps and then the cables stretched or settled and I was often having to search a bit for a gear. It was distracting, but I doubt it slowed me too much. Still the set up once it is dialed in a bit will be great. It is a huge improvement. And to be able to go from the lowest gear to the smallest in one throw is a huge advantage in a cross race where gear changes are very frequent and often at the extreme ends of the cassette.

Bottom line: Today was fun--well it was fun to be done. During the race I wondered what the heck I was doing out there. It was just so dang hard. My body just hurt and I couldn't hardly stand when I was done. Why do we do this to ourselves? Well, I must have a masochistic streak in me for sure. I plan to do the Psycho Cross race this coming Saturday if I am feeling up to it. I will be missing the next Cross Crusade race unfortunately.

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