Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tailwind CX Stop #4! Linden Co. Park

The season is still young but in full swing. And today was the 4th race of the Tailwind Cyclocross series. Normally we would have raced at my beloved Lower Huron Metro Park today, but the course was switched to a new venue. And you know what, it pleased me very well. The new course was located in Linden, Mi. At Linden Co. Park just a few minutes from Fenton. The course had everything for a perfect cyclocross race! The beginning started on a long semi paved road that dumped you into a an old growth oak tree area. There was a nice long loose run up with barriers at the bottom in the beginning. Then you got into a very tight and twisty, with lots of roots technical section. A few moderate climbs that kept you honest, and it then went into a paved fast flat bike trail. This transitioned into a 2 track grass area with long sweeping turns and into the final barriers and finally the finish.

Going into the race, I was eager to try and steal another podium if I had the shot. Training has been going very well, and this was my last big block before going into the USGP, Vets Park, and the Iceman. So today was a crap shoot, but I was betting on a good result none the less, and based on the past 3 race results.

There were 14 guys at the line today. The usual suspects, but everyone looked hungry! We all shot out like we were fired out a cannon. I got a good jump on the hill for the starting straight sitting in 3rd position. But the time I got to the top I slipped back to around 6th. Going into the tight twisty stuff, I ended up sitting in about 9th or 10th. Almost the entire group of 14 stuck together for the first 2 laps so I did not feel the need to panic. But I was not feeling 100%. I was sloppy in the twistys and felt like I was gasping for air. The lead group was always just in front of me, but I was a bobble away at every turn of losing them. My race continued like this until the last 3 laps. I finally made contact with the group just ahead of me that contained Rob Selle, Matt Baroli, and Scott Goocher. I could tell that there were signs these guys were fading, but they all were riding strong enough that it was too tough to make an attack to get around them almost anywhere on the course. By the time the last lap rolled around, I decided If I wanted to attack, I would have to do it on the starting climb and try to hold on from there through the twistys and the flats. As soon as we crossed the start line for the last time, I popped up to a few harder gears and attacked from behind! No one reacted, at least not right away. I took as many risks through the technical sections as I could gaining a larger gap. I hit the pavement on the flats and rode as hard as I could until it felt like I was going to puke! Up and over the last turn through the 2 track, I noticed that Rob caught back onto my wheel. The only thing remaining was the barriers and 3 turns with a small hill. We ran through the barriers at full speed side by side. I was the first back on my bike, clipped in, and standing on the pedals. Rob never got around me. Going into the final turn before we hit the pavement to the finish line, we were both going full speed railing the banked turn. I hit the pavement first, popped it up 2 gears and began to mash for the sprint. I took it. But later learned that Rob rolled his rear tubular in the final turn. The sprint was good enough for 6th place. Not a podium, but I was very happy with the result knowing that I was able to pick my opportunity to attack late in a race and have it work out to my advantage.

So as I mentioned above, my fitness is coming around, and my peak weeks are still in front of me. Curt and I are going on another road trip this coming weekend. We will be doing the USGP Derby City Cup for the 2nd year in a row. We both recently decided to excuse ourselves from the million man B race, and jump into the single speed race instead! So I blew the dust off of "Le Bastard", and we will be ready to rock -- worry free!

1 comment:

Paynful said...

Nice job out there buddy!! Your form is looking good!!