Sunday, October 25, 2009

Washington County Cross Crusade Report

Flashback to Thursday night...Bridget and I were cooking dinner together and she started spray Pam to make sure that some tortillas in the green chili enchiladas didn't stick together. Little did I know that she was doing it in a way that the over spray got all over one section of floor. A few minutes later I was standing in that particular area of the kitchen and slipped. I managed to avoid a sharp knife and most of a hot pan, but my back got a bit mangled. She felt bad and tried to help massage it out later and I did some stretches over the next couple of days but I was worried about being able to race it all. I had to blow off one race I planned to do on Saturday because of the pain.

PFJ called me to let me know I had to race...well, I couldn't let the Team down. Today was Team ButterCup's first race. I managed to get out there and even finished.

Starting the day off was Tim, who managed to get confused and cut the course. He was relegated to 108th instead of 6th. He said he got back near the same spot he was in when he took the short cut, but the officials didn't care. Marcello is still out with his back injury, so no Master C rider to represent there. PFJ was planning to ride his Vanilla for the first time today and so he would be racing in the SS class for the first time as well. I was the only one racing the Master B's.

I had a good position at the start. I didn't push it too hard at the start because I was worried about the back. I took a bunch of pain meds hoping to make it bearable. It was. Not great, but it wasn't painful enough to stop me. I really tried to accelerate out of the corners better than I have been so far this year. The slick course made it difficult to do so. I saw many riders go down as I was riding. I stayed up the whole time, although I did have to dab a couple of times. I rode on the Tufo Flexus Cubus tires and I found myself wishing I was riding the Hutchinson Bulldogs instead. I think the Bulldogs have a great cornering type of tread. I rode the Tufo's because the wheelset they are glued to happens to weigh about 1.3 pounds less. Next time I will take the better cornering and the weight if I have to make this choice.

Anyway, here is how my race went down. Ride hard. Stand up out of the corners to accelerate whenever possible. Keep it upright. Keep an eye out for number 822 and 922. Those were two guys I had my eye on at the start. They were just in front of me and I figured they were at about my same ability. I barely beat 822 last week on a hilly course. 922 I have seen come into the bike shop a few times and he looks pretty fit, and he was right in front of me so it was easy to remember him.

Battled 922 for over half of the race. He was usually about 10 to 50 feet ahead of me except of about half of the third lap, when I got a head of him for a bit. Then on the last or next to last lap I passed him and never saw him again. 822 was a bit further ahead. I was getting close to him at the end, but a few guys crashed ahead of me and I couldn't make of the ground. He finished a couple of spots ahead of me.

I did pass a guy right at the very end. We came out of the last turn just in front of the finish line with him just a bit ahead and taking the outside line. He went to shift some gears to accelerate to the finish but his derailleur said pass. I heard all sorts of ugly sounds as I took the inside line and passed him as we exited the turn and then came to the finish. Nice. I might have gotten him anyway as I had the better line, but his crunchy gears did the work for me.

Overall I had a good race. There were some parts that I think I rode very well. And there were lots of turns that I wish I had nailed better. So it goes...

The preliminary results had me 85th out of 117 starters. I am not sure how many DNF'd, probably around 10. I also continue to make the lead lap and so I still feel like I belong on Master B's. The official results had me at 96th out of 117. I didn't think I had done that poorly, but whatever.

Sure I could go back down and do well in Master C's. I would be winning there, but I would be probably in the top quarter. I would rather be racing in the back quarter of the Master B's than sitting in the top quarter of the Master C's. Still, I am disappointed in the final results. I guess I just have to keep at it.

I am not racing next weekend. I am hoping for a couple of good weeks of training so that I can debut Buttercup, my new singlespeed (the name of the bike came before the name of the team, by the way) at the race in two weeks. We'll see...

No comments: