Sunday, September 20, 2009

Double Cross Weekend!



With training going well, and the uncontrollable urge to race cyclocross again, I was ready as I could have been heading into the Tailwind/KTR Double Cross weekend. The plan was to do both the B-race and Single Speed race both days since I registered for both class for the entire series. I was soon to learn that my body is not up to the task of doing 4 cross races in 3 days, but lessons learned. Other than that, I felt I rocked it in my first 2 B-races. So here is how it went...

Day1 -- Like a kid at Christmas, I was both nervous, excited and could not wait to race! I lined up in the front row of the B-class and thought to myself I need to get out front and stay there if I could. The whistle blew and we were off. I had trouble clipping in at first and lost between 8-10 spots before we hit the grass. A few touch of bars with a Rhino, and I began to pick my way through the mass of riders. One by one, I was able to claw my way up to the top 5 group. I forced a small gap, maybe 10-15 seconds, and then noticed a thump in my tire. What the hell? I was coming up to the pits and had to make a choice. I decided to grab my pit bike, and it was only the 2nd lap. I lost several positions now, and had to waste a lot of energy trying to catch up. Finally made contact again with Mark Caffyn who was holding onto 5th. I would yo-yo off his wheel, especially when we got on top of the new flyover "orange crush". Mark was a lot cleaner than I was getting on to his bike than I was at the top of this monster. As we continued to push through the final laps, I had one more chance to bring back Mark in the final set of barriers leading into a sprint finish. I tried to take a chance and run through the barriers as fast as I could. I had so much speed that my feet could not catch up. I caught the top of the 1st barrier with my left foot and began to fall face 1st into the 2nd one. My bike hit the first barrier and I lucky stayed on my feet. My handle bars were twisted, and my chain fell off. As I put my chain back on a Paint Creek rider passed me, so instead of sprinting for 5th, I was now coasting home for a still solid 7th place in my first ever B-race.

Race #2 was on the single speed. No fire works, just a lot of pain. The course was bumping and my back was killing me. I still continued to push as hard as I could and took 3rd out of 4th. So a podium none the less. Le Bastard was a sweet ride and should be fun to pedal the rest of the series.

Day 2 -- Surprisingly I recovered very well from the day before. But I was doubting how I was going to race on Day 2 after spending myself 2 times for Day 1. So it was on. I had an even worse start than the day before. And I was sucking wind. Sitting in about 10th place for 3 laps. I stuck to Tom Payn's wheel and just waited. After the 3rd lap, Wayne "the Single speed mad man" Cook joined our group and was setting a good pace. I did not think I would hang with Wayne for long, but we were now coming up to the tail end of the top 5 group. Then it happened. Not sure why or how, but I got a second wind. My lungs and legs opened up, and I put in an attack to shake the group I was with. There was really no response, and suddenly I was sitting in 4th place with a considerable gap. It stayed this for about 2 more laps, then somehow Jason "OX" Melecosky made his way up to me and actually put a gap into me. We battled it out back and forth for the rest of the race. Coming into the final set of barriers, Jason made a move to try and catch 3rd place at the line. I could not hang on. However, after my crash yesterday I kept the power going and kept telling myself "anything can happen!". Then it did. In the final turn, Jason over cooked the corner, slide out onto the ground. Then almost recovered, and then went over the bars. I kicked it up and began to sprint to make sure I got around him before he could get back on his bike. I hit the pavement and sprinted home for 4th place! My first B-race podium!

I was so sore and tired that I decided not to race Single speed the 2nd day. No use in getting goofy injury now. So next week it the Ithaca Grand Prix of Cyclocross!

7 comments:

Paynful said...

You did awesome today!! Congrats!!

zenbicyclist said...

Good job. I wasn't there but a friend of mine was taking pictures of the "B" race. I couldn't find a pic of you, but you might want to take another look:
http://www.farmjohnphoto.com/Bike-Racing/2009-br/RACE-1-Kinetic-SystemsTailwind/9687127_DC2UF#P-1-12

chunky dunker said...

Cool Thanks! there were a few I found.

TP said...

YES!!!! Sweet mother!

noslo said...

nice work out there!

Jason Melecosky said...

Talk about a great weekend out there. That was a trip. Great job out there John! ...and congrats on the podium! I'll try to keep both wheels on the ground next time. (O:

- Jason

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