Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Time for some cross!

It's that time of year when the amount of daylight starts to disappear and the weather starts to get a bit cooler. That means it time for Cyclocross. This past weekend Gunnar and I did the double by racing the ABRA event Kickoff on Saturday and the Month of Mud Cyclocross event on Sunday.

Photo by Benjamin Stephens

Gunnar was his usual self and was impressive all weekend long. He started off by doing the Masters race Saturday morning. From the start he found himself out front and was only matched by Andy Gorski of Allison Park, PA. The two took turns at the front and a solid gap emerged. For the remaining 30 minutes the two battled turn for turn. On the last lap Gunnar dug deep and attacked over the barriers. Gorski tried but was unable to match Gunnar's prance. At the line it was Gunnar taking his first cross win of the year.

As the promoter of the event it didn't leave me anytime to warm up before it was my turn to take to the course. All the other riders were already there and had taken up all the good spots at the front. I didn't pay it much mind cause I was going to ride my own pace and just see what happen. I had a slightly disappointing race because my fitness is not quite where I wanted it to be right now. However I tried hard and mustered up a 20th.

Gunnar was up again and going to do the Men's 1/2/3 race, his second of the day. The pace was fast. Five riders got away and Gunnar found himself in a chase group of 4 riders. The chase group where putting in hard laps and your could tell the riders in the group were just hanging on. Gunnar was able to use his skills and broke away from the group in the closing laps to take 6th in his second race!

Photo by Benjamin Stephens

Sunday we planned to head North to Grove City, PA for the Month of Mud Cross race. The drive was 2.5 hours so we had to leave butt early in the morning. It was clear early that the nice weather that we had the day before was gone on Sunday. It started rain pretty good about an hour before we reached the event.

Just like the day before Gunnar's race was first. At the start line it was cold, wet and a shock to the system. I told Gunnar, "harden up, it cross season". The race started and Gunnar didn't have the best start. Early on he was sitting in around 6th place as the rain started to fall even harder, Gunnar started to move forward. Joe and Andy where gone up front but lap after lap Gunnar picked off folks till he found himself in 3rd. That is were he found himself finish and he did a great job fighting back after a slow start.

Next was my turn. I was very cold, wet and even had some teeth chattering before the start. The field was big and we were starting on super wet blacktop. I was worried about someone taking out the field in the first turn on black top so I planned to take it easy on the start. No crashes during the prolog that was nice but I found myself a little ways back. I started riding hard and was having a blast in the mud and rain after I warmed up. I seem to do a lot better in the mud then most folks and in the next forty minutes picked off a lot of riders. By the end I finished 27th out of 81 riders. I felt like I rode better then the day before and the conditions made it so much fun that when I finished-fishing I had a smile from ear to ear! CROSS IS HERE!

Photo by Benjamin Stephens

Nate Annon member of the 2011 Dynamic PT team gets a jump start racing for the team by pulling on a jersey for the Cyclocross season. Welcome abroad Nate! More news of the 2011 Team in the months to come..

Find more swell photos of Gunnar from Ben at Ben's Super Cool Photo Shack!