Sunday, October 31, 2010

Veterans Park CX Day 1 and 2!

So it all comes down to this. At least for the weekend. This is what I was calling my A race weekend for Cyclocross. My fitness was ready. I was excited to race the double weekend at my favorite CX venue which is Veterans Park in Ann Arbor. It was time to get it on! It was podium quest time!

The usual podium sniffers were all there on day one, so I knew it was going to be a tough day and I had my work cut out for me. I had a really good warm up. The course was dry and fast, with the usual mountain bike style punchy climbs twisting around the trees, and the signature long winding run up. Oh yeah! Here we are at the Vet! I got a good start and settled into 3rd through the first section of course. I was feeling great. Almost like we were just rolling around the park on the first lap. Then the accelerations started. First with Rodger Bowser Went off the front like a rocket and took an easy win. But then it was Dan Bannink, Ron Stack, Scott Fabijanski and myself left to sort out the rest of the podium. We all stayed tight for most of the race. The Ron sat on the the front but started to fade. The rest of us put in a huge acceleration and dropped Ron. I felt like I was in the zone. In the last 2 laps, Scott made the next move and tried to break away to take 2nd place. It was enough to shake me off his wheel but Dan was able to follow. I continued to put out the best effort I could and finished with a solid 4th place. My highest Masters 35+ finish to date!

Day 2 -- I was feeling really good again and was hungry for another podium spot. Again I had a good jump off the line and sat in 3rd. Then Ron came around me, so we were in a train of 4 representing 1st through 4th place through 2 laps. I was feeling even better than I was the day before, and was starting to plan a possible attack when and if the time was right. And then it happened... On the bumpy down hill on lap 2 my chain decided to fall off. I quickly jumped off the the to fix it. Looked up and realized I maybe lost 10 seconds. Got on the bike and the chain fell off again. The panic started to set in as riders kept zinging by me! I was now somewhere around 10th place with a whole lot of racing left. I dug in and thought to myself, "if I got the fitness I have to roll the dice and put in the hardest effort I possibly could to claw my way back and hope for the best." I got mad and dug in! Soon I caught Scott Fab who was struggling. Then it was some guy I never seen before. Then I made my way onto Todd Frerichs Wheel and passed him. Next I caught Scott Goocher and then realized I was within striking distance of 5th place maybe more! When I was on Scott's wheel, he bobbled in a tricky down hill corner and slid down the hill through the tape. I quickly got around him and made a hard push to get away. Then I could see David Johnson sitting just ahead in 4th place. I was on fire. I was slowly gaining on David turn after turn, lap after lap. I finally got onto Davids wheel in the same corner that Scott went down. David did the same thing in front of me, but I could not get around him. I hung onto his wheel until the beginning of the final lap. Then he cashed in everything he had to try to force a gap. I was just about spent and could not hold his wheel. I would start to inch my way closer through the twisty stuff, but he would pull away through the flats. In the final few turns and the last set of barriers, I was still fighting to catch him. Any mistake and I would have a chance for a back to back 4th place. It never happened. He took forth by 9 seconds. But I had a very well deserved 5th place for my effort, and for not giving up.

Overall I had a great weekend. I was very strong and my training plan worked out perfectly thus far. Now if I can maintain the fitness I currently have for Iceman through the State Championship. This will be the next test. But as for right now, I am feeling 100% better than I did at this time last year. So I am liking my chances. Thanks to everyone who was cheering me on both days. The support is awesome! It is unbelievable how much motivation I get from it. Thanks again, and keep it up! I can use it!!!


cjsbike said...

I bet you will smoke it Iceman! Can you sell me a bit of your fitness?

See you at Iceman!


Paynful said...

Nice weekend!! You looked stong out there!!

You will crush it at iceman!