Monday, October 7, 2013

Michigan Mud?

It wasn't epic, but it was mud! And it was fun to play in for sure. For many geological reasons, Michigan soaks up rain like a sponge. So it seems that most of our cross races are typically on the dry side, even with it rains. But be got a treat Sunday, with steady rain the night before, and more throughout the day, the ground gave up its precious soil and let us have some mud! What made it even better was we got to play in it at Lower Huron, my favorite place to race CX. And this year the venue did not disappoint!

As the course slowly began to fall apart throughout the day, it was finally time for the Elite/Masters race. I was really excited to get this one on, as I have been feeling great. Everything seems to be clicking finally, and now its time to test things out. All the usually suspects were on the line and ready to battle. The whistle blew and Boom! we were off to the first corner like jack rabbits. I had a slow start off the line but quickly jumped back up near the front. Alex was a few spots ahead, so I decided to settle in on Brian W's wheel. Andy F, Ron S, and Ben C were in the mix as well. Ben decided it was not play time, and stayed to stretch the rubber band a bit. He was riding fast and smooth. Brain, Andy and Myself latched on. Shortly into the race Don C and Patrick R caught and passed up. Recognizing the opportunity to hop on the train. Ben accelerated. We followed. it was painful already but the gaps were growing. After a lap of this. We ended up going around Dan and Pat, and they were in their own battle. I worked my way onto Ben's wheel. As we approached the steep run up, Ben tried to ride. I un-clipped and ran. As Ben made it to the top, he slipped out and I ran past. I was now leading the train. Through the loop again, Andy made his move. Brain and I chased. back up the hill. Andy tried to ride and again I ran. Same result. Now it was Brian and I. We continue to battle through the middle of the race. Near the beginning of the course, I went around him and took a dig. It seemed to work. I was alone. But not for long. With about 3 laps to go, a flying Simon Bailey came around me. I latched on and let him work. We took turns taking the lead and trying to shake each other. Soon after, Wade Burch made his way to the back end. Now there was 3 with 2 laps to go. It was a stale mate for the last 2 laps, and all the while Brad Lako was slowing inching his way across the gap. With the last section of the course to go. Simon came around to grab the front. Wade followed. I was OK with this and was ready to play it out in the end. We came into the 2nd to last corner. As I came through the pinnacle of the turn, my rear wheel slipped. Simon and Wade instantly got 5 ft on me! Ugh! By the time I hit the pavement the were out of reach. I never got to sprint it out for 2nd, but was happy with 4th on a very tough and technical day of cyclocross!

Thanks to my Mom, Bob Bruce, Shaun Welch for the pictures!


JMAK said...

Yeah Buddy! Keep building. That top step is still in reach.

BrAdLaKo said...

So close... keep bang'n away. nice job!