Monday, October 25, 2010

US Gran Prix of Cyclocross -- Derby City Cup Day 1 and 2!

I got a taste of the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Championships last weekend! As I raced in the USGP Derby City Cup day 1 and 2. Since Louisville has taken a gamble, and dedicated a park for the sole purpose of cyclocross racing, the world has taken notice and thus the World Championships will be held for the first time in the US at the new Cyclocross park named Eva Bandman Cyclocross park near downtown Lousiville Kentucky! I participated in history, as I was one of the many to race for the very first time at this park. And what better way of kicking the grand opening off with the USGP Derby City Cup! The park is awesome. There is a large flat grass infield section. A very step hill that is semi wooded with lots up bumps and twist and turns for many course options. a new nice paved starting stretch, and a nice wooded area that takes you along the banks of the Ohio River. Oh and lots of sand to play in!

The first day the course was wide open with long straight away sections. but it was very difficult. After the fast start, you were faced with a 6 ft hill straight into the barriers. made for some interesting starts for the races. then it was a steep climb up "Selle Italia" Run-up. Then a quick turn through the sand out the flats, through the wooded section by the river and onto the long deep sand pit. Once out of the sand it was few pedal strokes to the flyover. If that wasn't enough, you then climbed the steep hill in the semi wooded section down the steep other side. Quickly off the bike and running back up to the top! Down the hill, a few more twist for good measure and up the hill one more time! Then you were ready to start the next lap.

I felt great all weekend. There were 20 plus guys all ready to Rock in the Single Speed class both days! We were behind the 150 plus riders in the Cat 2/3 class, and the officials gave us a 20 second gap before the start of our race. The whistle blew and we were off! I had a good start sitting in around 5th for the hole shot. We caught the tail end of the Cat 2/3 group at the barriers and that is when I started to lose ground. Their were some very, very, very fast guys in the single speeders. As I picked my way through the back of the Cat 2/3's. I was riding very well. Very clean through all the on and off transitions, and I was able to power through the sand and acclerate out of the corners. I started pinning back single speeders one by one! It felt as the race went on, I got stronger. Each time I attacked I moved up! The crowd was loud and nuts by the crazy down hill and run up! The yelling and cow bells really made me want to go faster. As painful as this section was, I looked forward to going through it every lap! When the race was over, I figured I was some where near the top 10. When the results were finally posted, they were jacked up! I had to protest. And was finally given 13th. Not sure if I really agree, but We will never really know at this point.

So now on to day 2. Knowing I had one more shot to hit my goal for the weekend of nailing a top 10 in the single speed class. I knew I had a good chance and legs were feeling good! In addition, they made the course longer and added a whole bunch more twist and turns. I felt the changes would be in my favor and they were. I was in 2 place off the the line all the way into the barriers and again, started slipping back once we got into the Cat 2/3 traffic. I could not get around hardly anyone at first, and must have slipped back to around 16-18th place. Once the course opened up a bit, I went to work! I turned it on full tilt and picked guys off one by one. I felt I had an even better race than the day before. And the reaults proved it. I took 9th. And am very happy with that.

In additon to the great racing, I got to see some friends from Rouge Racing Project. What a great group guys. Brain and Doug, thanks for making us feel at home the entire weekend! And great job to the MI crew! We all rock!

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