Sunday, September 9, 2012

Let's Get Ready to......!

Like a kid waiting for Christmas to get here, I have been jonesing for some CX action. And you know what? CX-Mas has arrived! Yep, tis the season. The most wonderful time of the year. And what better way to open up the presents with the first gift of the season - the Ithaca Grand Prix of Cyclocross. JB took a year off from putting this race on to finish up his masters, but it was back this year and it was bigger and better than ever before. One of the best run races, best fun races, and best CX courses in the state! If you have not done this race yet, you should squarely kick yourself in the ass!

As the weeks and days led up to the race, it was one of the only things I could think about. I made the 2.5 hour ride over to Ithaca with my dad, and as soon as we arrived, the buzz was in the air. I chatted with all my CX friends and finally got ready to race. This year the masters races would be 50-60 mins long. So I knew this was going to be a good endurance test for me. Also, in the 5 laps we were going to do, there was a total of 1000 ft of climbing! Ouch. This was going to make for one of the hardest CX races I have ever done. We took to the line behind the elite, and after 30 seconds we were off! I had issues clipping in at the start and this cost me a shot at the Prime. But I was sitting in 5th place going into the course. Attacks came early from Andy Fedewa, Shawn Schaffert, Pete Thompson and Ray Auger. But I just settled into my groove and applied the pressure keeping everyone in sight. After a few laps, and a couple of hard surges up the sled hill, and gravel climb. I found myself at the front of the race all alone with Pete Thompson. I stuck to his wheel like glue, and we traded a few pulls through the race. We continued to grow the gap lap after lap to the other racers. Finally with 2 laps to go, Mark Wolowiec (masters 45+) caught and passed us. Pete made a dig to get onto his wheel right before the sled hill. I followed. I instantly went past the red zone but managed to hang on but just barely. We went through the fast flat section of the course and was able to recover a bit, but Pete was still trying to put the pressure on. Into the long sand pit, I was just off the back. Pete Surged through the sand by foot and past Mark. He remounted his bike and began to sprint up the small punchy hill. I could not respond to the attack and the gap grew. For the next lap and a half, I tried every possibility to reel Pete back in, but the gap was too large. He dangled right in front of me. I crossed the line for 2nd place, and was very happy with my race.

Shortly after, I lined up again for the single speed race. I had some reservations about doing this race as I was completely spent from turning myself inside out trying to catch Pete in the race before. But I got on the line anyway. As soon as the race started, I felt like mush. Legs were tired and heavy, But I know i had 3 more laps left in me. I was sitting in 3rd in the first lap right before the sled hill. I decided to run it rather than ride. Big mistake, as everyone that rode it passed me like I was standing still. Mike Seaman, Jim Gorlich, Ray Auger, and Andy Fedewa were all in front of me now. Mike and Andy took this as their opportunity to make their move stick. As I chased, I passed Jim and Ray in the beginning of the 2nd lap. And I made a big charge to catch Andy, Through the pine tree dirt path. I made contact with Andy right before the sled hill. But it was too much. As we climbed the hill together, my quads began to cramp from the effort of the masters race. I was left to try and hang on, but he slipped away. I was able to hold off everyone else for the last lap, but could not close down the remaining few yards to Andy so I had to settle for 4th. But not bad. 2 podiums on the same day! I will take that.

Congrats to the following folks on some great results!

Sven Bauman - 2nd to a UCI top domestic Road Racing Pro!
Brad Lako - 1st USAC CX podium with a 4th place!
Andy Fedewa  - Double podium and an outstanding 3rd in the single speed race!
Jeff Weinert - 5th in Elite. The pony is ageless!
Mike Seaman - 2nd in the Single Speed race. Racing experience paid off in an awesome early race move to secure a commanding 2nd!
Pete Thompson - 1st place. Way to bounce back from early season injury. Now time to go back and race elite where you belong! ;)
Jeff Haney - 1st place I think he is getting younger!
Tom Barrett - 3rd place, Tommy B looks to be back!
Scott Fabijanski - 3rd place. It appears to be that Scotty is back on a plan, and should be a force to recon with in masters 45+.

1 comment:

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