Monday, November 14, 2011

US Gran Prix of Cyclocross - Derby City Cup

Well, it's been 3 years in a row now that I have done this race, and it just keeps getting better. The course that was laid out for both days was by for the funnest and toughest CX course I have ever raced on. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser for the up coming Masters and UCI Worlds. So you wont want to miss'em if you can make it. As for my racing, I will keep it short - but I can say I felt really, really good both days. There was some deep talent in the single speed class for the the Derby City Cup this year, so any dreams of a top 3 finish were destroyed in the starting grid. But hey, I can still do the best I can so that is what I did. So with a top 10 goal in mind, this is how it went.

Day 1 - The toughest of the 2 courses, saw 3 sand pits 2 run ups, a fly-over, and set of barriers. And oh, steep punchy hills all about. I some how got a 2nd row start, and this caused me to fall mid pack at the start. So once I got the jitters out I went to work! I started some where in the teens, and picked off riders one by one. The good thing is, I was able to ride hard for the entire race, but still put in huge surges on the flats to attack, and open up gaps. It was awesome. When it was all done, I finished 8th out of 20 something. I felt this was very respectable, especially considering the guys racing at the front and the skill level needed to navigate the course.

Day 2 - Jim and I got there early and scouted out the course. Looked a little easier, except for the course went through a 12 inch deep mud hole. Why would they go out of there way to find the only mud hole on the course? Not a lot of happy people, and this will come into play later. I got a front row position this time and was ready and feeling good. The gun went and we were off. I was in about 5th place going through the barriers. Perfect! I was hanging off the back of the lead guys but they were still in site. A few guys got around, but I was still in a good position and growing the gap behind every lap. I was feeling stronger and better than the day before. Half way through the race, I was closing in on 3 of the guys that passed me earlier. Pop 1! Pop 2! and now I was closing in on 6th place. I was with in reach and I still had a allot of space between the chasers behind me. Going into the last lap, it was TT time and race smart. I nailed everything. And as I approached the mud hole for the last time, I started my roll, squared up the best possible line and splash oh $%&*! Something grabbed my wheel and threw me to the right side of the course through the tape and course stakes like a ton of bricks onto the ground! I popped up like I just stole 2nd base, but did not panic. I grabbed the bike and started to run. The front wheel would not roll. Then 1, 2, 3 guys passed me. Shit! I didn't have a rolled tubular but what the hell!? Finally someone in the crowd noticed my brake arm was jammed under my front rim. I beat it back with my hand, straightened out my now loose brake lever and jumped back on. I made a big push, and actually made it up to the tail end of the guys that passed me. But my brake level was loose and every time it move, it pulled my front brake to drag. So I finished the rest of the lap with my brake dragging and had to settle for 11th. Not bad with all the bad luck. Immediately, after our race. They took the mud hole out for the rest of the day. Go figure...

Congrats to Jon Card on 2 back to back wins in Masters 45+ Awesome!

And congrats to Mike Wissink for an awesome win on Day 1!

Even better, Mike showed he is truly a class act by sitting up in the last few hundred meters on Day 2 to let Richard Feldman through to take 2nd place, which allowed him to keep the leaders jersey going into the last round of the USGP. Nice job Wiz! (Feldman was on the front in one of the last turns. He took the outside line and was forced off his bike as the eventual leader went inside. This allowed Wiz to get around him and would have had an easy 2nd. However, this would have kicked Feldman out of the leaders jersey, and Wiz is not in the jersey competition this year.)That move made a huge impression on me. Thanks!

Finally, congrats to all the Miscene folks that made it down to race. There were some very good results across the board. And we all supported each other and represented very well! Always fun!!!