Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall is in the air

With my road season in the book, and cross season ramping up. I make the transition from asphalt to grass. As ABRA cyclocross season quickly approaches I wanted to get several ‘cross races in beforehand. I opted to travel to race in both neocx (North East Ohio Cyclocross) and MAC (Mid Atlantic Cyclocross).
My first race of the season was NEOCX Edge of the World cross. This course was relatively flat with 1 run up and 1 steady climb with a short kicker at the end. Though a bit technical with a couple rooted sections and a section in the sand. For the start i managed to get on the front row, not really knowing what to expect since it was the first race of the season. We got going I could’ve taken the hole shot but wanted to not lead the first lap in fear of blowing up I settled into second. Though half way through the first lap the guy leading bobbled over the roots and I went around.  After a bit on the front I was driving the pace to try to string the field along, before the first lap was over I was sitting second again and was slowly fading back. I ended up in 4th and settled into a rhythm to try to reel back 3rd and hold 4th. About 2 laps to go I was over taken my the guy sitting 5th before the sand I had wanted to pass the guy again going over the barriers. 3rd was maybe a couple hundred feet ahead of us and I was thinking we could catch him. As we went over the barriers I passed the guy 4th and was carrying a lot of speed but I didn't think it was too much. Though when I set the bike down to remount, I must of set it down crooked and it acted like a lever and tossed me over it and about 5-10 feet away. I hurried back to the bike, look it over quickly make sure all was good, and got back to racing, I had managed to hold my 5th place.

 having fun in Charm City's  sand pit
My second and third race of the season was MAC Charm City in Baltimore. With being my largest race of the year with fields of 125.  Starting in the 40’s was quite the fight for the start I managed to get myself up within the top 30 in the first lap’s though on both days, I  had started to fade in the second half of the race. One thing I learned in fields that large and competitive, there is no place to rest and anytime you do someone is looking to get around you.  I had managed to finish 69th on the first day, and 65th on the second day.

The latest race was a neocx again. as we had pulled up to the venue I saw that it was on a hill side. Here I was thinking yes finally a hilly course.  I was mistaken the course had maybe 25-30 feet of riding up hill the rest where sets of stairs, 3 sets of stairs to be specific. I managed to get a front row again, this time I thought heck I’ll try to take the hole shot and lead the first lap, I lined up next to another local abra racer, Ben Kuhlman, I got the hole shot and sounded of a good gap but over cooked the first turn big time, and felt like I lost a lot of that ground. Hit the first set of stairs and got going, I wasn’t going to look back. Before I hit the second set of stairs Ben was right behind me, saying that we had a gap. I held the lead for the first half of a lap then settled into second behind Ben. going into the second lap I let a gap open and settled into 3rd. Halfway into the race I got into a 3 man group racing for 4th place. A guy got away from our group then it was me for another rider fighting for 5th. The last lap I made my move going into the final set of stairs. I took over 5th and held it to the barriers and closed down on 4th to about 100 yards at the finish but waited too long to close it down. 

(will post pictures as they are posted)