Sunday, December 6, 2009

MI State Championship, What a RIde!

What was expected to be a middle of the road cyclocross season for me, has turned out to be almost a dream come true. Stepping up into the B's, I was expecting to fill in somewhere around the middle of the pack. But instead, I have reached the podium in all but one race this year! And going into the State Championship, I was focused, locked, loaded and ready to do battle.

This year, the state championships moved to a new venue in Springfield Oaks, which has hosted the UCI doublecross for the past 3 years. Springfield is a mix of paved flat roads, loose gravel, some gnarly off camber steep slippery hills, and even a little single track for good measure. And being this late into the season, this is the kind of course that does not hold water well and could turn the results of the day into any body's race. So here is how it went for me.

The start line was right underneath the Orange Crush flyover, and this made for some cramped quarters. I could not get the front row, but did line up in the second. The start position was bad enough for me that I struggled to clip into my pedal for about 50 yrds. So instantly I was loosing ground. I tired to make up as much as possible to avoid any pile ups in the very greasy off camber hill toward the beginning of the course. If you did not take the perfect line, you were either crashing or walking. So I was able to get up around 6 place and then the crashes began. I caused me to dismount in which I could not find any traction with my shoes. So I fell on my butt at least 2 times. I ran to the corner and finally got onto my bike. I tried to pick off a few folks but made minimal progress. Into the main part of the course and near the switch back corners into the single track I jack knifed my front wheel trying to make a move around another rider and found myself on the ground again! This time I was getting mad and sitting in 9th place. From here on the course opened up a little and I began to attack. By the time I started the 2nd lap I fought my way up to 4th place and was pulling a large train of riders. I took some risk through some very slippery corners and off camber sections. And buried it on the paved sections. I broke off the front end of the train and had my sights focused on Shawn McDonald who was sitting all alone in 3rd. I reeled him in at the beginning of the 3rd lap, and never looked back. The gap continued to grow, but I could never quite bridge up to Danny and Clint who were in 1st and 2nd. I was on my limit the entire time making sure I cashed all my chips in at the table for my last bet of the year! I felt strong and pushed hard all the way to the end. Another solid 3rd place for the day. And that was good enough to earn some other hardware.....So this is how I fared in the B's for the year.

With the 3rd place from today's race, it was good enough to also take 2nd place for the State Championship podium for B-men 30-39!

And I also claimed 3rd overall in the Series points race!

I also, raced the single speed race one more time and just ended up riding my bike for 45 more mins. But it was still fun. My main focus was perfecting the beer hand ups I was getting each lap! I totaled 7 for the day and was rewarded with 5th place for my efforts.

Other racers that lit it up!

Clint Verran -- 1st in the race, 1st in the State B-Men 30-39, and 1st in the series B-men!
Danny Gerrow -- 2nd in the race, 1st in the State B-men Under 30
Pat Russell -- 1st in the race, 1st in the State Masters 35+, 1st in series Master 35+
Pete Thompson -- 2nd in the race, 2nd in the State Masters 35+, 2nd in series Master 35+
Mike Seamon -- 1st in the Race, 1st in the State Masters 45+, 1st in the series Master 45+
Shawn Schaffert -- 1st in the Race, 1st in the State C-men 30-39, 1st in the series C-men under 39
Mike, Tim, and Jeff -- The Michigan Elite 1,2,3. What else can I say! Year after year it is total domination.
Ann Schwartz -- Back where she belongs. At the top.
Erik Kohler -- 1st in the SS race, the State Championship and Series. Slow down!!
Adam Naish -- For showing up and poaching a 3rd place State Championship medal for B-men 30-39. See you in the spring!

And My favorite racer of the day, my very own team mate, Curt Potocki after battling health, injuries, and mechanical issues over the past few years he lit it up in the 2nd half of the season nailing a podium spot almost every week and today finished 3rd in the State C-men 30-39, and wrapped up 3rd overall in the series C-men Under 39! Way to go Curt! And Welcome to the Killer B's in 2010!!!!


cjsbike said...

Freakin' Awesome!


noslo said...

Nice work John! Wish I could have hung around, I went down hard on lap one and had to leave to get my hand x-rayed... Big DNF for me and a severely sprained thumb. Oh well, there's always next season.

Again, nice job and can't wait until next season!

Curt said...

Thanks for the nice comments!

You did great this year, all the hard work really paid off.
Nice job!

TP said...

hellz fire....CONGRATS!

jbhancock said...

Awesome season this should be proud of your efforts!