Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lower Huron Cyclocross!



Fall is in the air!!! The air was crisp, the grass had frost, and trees were all in peak color. Maybe this is why I love racing CX at Lower Huron Metro Park. This place is beautiful, and just reminds me of all that cyclocross is about. Fast flats, Deep sand, and that crazy steep run up. This is the place where I got my fisrt podium a few years ago, so maybe this is why it is a special place for me to race. What ever it is, I have a few more reason now to call Lower Huron one of my favorite places to race cyclocross!

I began a quick build last week to top off the fitness going into the USGP, Iceman, and then the State CX championship. So going into the race, I was not sure how I would feel or perform with the extra training load throughout the week. According to my training schedule, this was just another training day, a throw away race. But as I mentioned before, I love racing here, so In my mind I wanted to do well. On the way down, I felt rested and the legs were snappy. I lined up in the first row, figuring I could take advantage of my power on the paved straight away, and grab a spot in the first few positions going into the grass. It worked great! The pace was quick, and then the top 4 guys just in front began to shadow box and no one wanted the lead. This kept the group very large with 8-10 racers for about 3 laps. And it helped me recover well from the fast start. Then a few guys dropped back, and a few others joined ahead. I kept my position for the entire race. The top 3 guys were always at my finger tips. I kept the power coming and put in some huge efforts to grow the gap behind me, but I could never catch the top 3 guys. Clint Verran joined me again and passed me, like the previous races before. But in the last lap, I popped it up into my big ring and chased him down by closing a 200 yrd gap. This was my last ditch effort try and gain one more spot. It may have been too much, I rode with Clint for as long as I could. But he just slightly slipped away. He took 4th by about 50 yrds. And I nailed a solid fifth with a huge gap over 6th place. I could not believe it, another podium!

I spent a lot of energy trying to catch the lead guys in the 1st race, so lining up in the single speed class was tough. I just rode my race, and tried to keep the power going for as long as I could and not get caught by any single speeders behind me. With 3 laps to go, I dismounted before the sand and some how caught the buckle on my right shoe. It snapped off! I finished the race with a shoe that felt like a loose slipper. But I was able to hang onto 4th in a field of 6 racers.

Next stop USGP of Cyclocross -- Derby City Cup. Kentucky Here I come!

3 comments:

Todd Shorkey said...

Great job out there today, John!

cjsbike said...

You are the podium rock star!

Can't wait to mix it up with the SSers in the Metro ghetto!

-Chad

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