Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vet's Park CX - Day 1

When I think of cyclocross, this is the place that comes to mind. Veterans Park in Ann Arbor Michigan. It is my favorite venue to race cross. Even more that the National level races. It has something for everyone there. And for some, maybe a little too much of what they don't like. But for me Vet's park is it.

This year was no different. As soon as I got there, I was giddy and ready to race! By the time the Masters were up. I was ready to rock. All the usual cast of characters were there along with a few "never seen before" folks which this race usually has every year. the whistle blew and we were off. I lined up right out the gate behind Jim Hilditch sitting in 3rd. This is exactly where I wanted to be. Let someone else control the pace, and attach or react on my terms. This was also important because the first switch back climb was very greasy and one wrong move could spell disaster! And it did. I took the tape to tape out side line, and David Johnson tired to cut across the inside to get around me. As soon has he did, one of the "never seen before" guys took a real shity line and clipped David's front wheel. This sent him sliding down the hill and backing up the race behind. I was able to ride around and hitched onto the Simon, Jim, and new dude train. The pace went up from here. I was sitting 4th on the back for most of the race. I would get gaped a little on climbs, but would come right back to them in the turns and off camber sections. The good news was, I was recovering quickly and could manage the accelerations like I wanted too. With 2 laps to go, it was still 4 of us on the front and we had a rather big gap from the next group. The pace seem to be fading, and I did not want anyone else to catch back up. Furthermore, I wasn't in the mood to play roadie tactics in a CX race, which seemed to be where the race was heading. So I was feeling really good and knew I had gas in the tank and attacked in the start /finish area! Only Simon and the new dude were able to hang on. Jim got popped off the back. I went for about 1/4 of a lap, then Simon and the new dude came around me. I stayed on their wheel the best I could. Simon was determined to keep the pressure on for the final lap and grew a few bike lengths out of reach. As we all round the final few turns, there was no way I was going to hitch back on. I finished 3rd - 10 seconds behind Simon who took his 2nd Masters 35+ win of the series. Congrats Simon!

Day 2 report tomorrow!

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