Monday, November 11, 2013

Still Rolling Strong - Vet's Park CX

After a great Iceman, I am finally ready to focus back on the type of racing I love, and go all in! It's back to Cyclocross 100%! It's great to be this deep into the year, and still be excited about racing. And to make it even better, I was able to race at one of my favorite venues once again - Veteran's Park in Ann Arbor.

On race day, I was ready to turn myself inside out to chase at least one CX win before the end of the season. Most the normal guys were all lined up and the whistle blew! We were off. The start was very congested and chaotic. Leaning on everyone just to try and avoid crashes and get into position before the paved climb and into an early technical section. I got jammed up early and was sitting behind the mid pack point. But I knew where everyone was and just waited. As we moved through the course, I made several 5 second all out burst to get around folks one by one. Near the end of the first lap, I was within the top 5 group containing Simon Bailey, Ben Christian, Andy Fedewa, and Todd Greene. Brain Wachlarz had a great start and was actually leading the Elite group at this point! By this time, DC, Steve Broglio, Shawn Davison and Jim Hilditch was in the group as well. I felt it was time to make a move, so I rolled the dice and attacked to test the legs but to also, get myself out of any trouble. Only Don, Shawn and Steve were able to respond. Brain, was now out of the top 3 Elite Group and all alone and within striking distance. I continued to push myself on the edge of the red zone. Within 2 more laps, I pulled away for DC, Shawn and Steve and was pulling back Brain 1 second at a time. We continued like this lap after lap. He was just the carrot I needed to stay focused and push myself to the limit. With 3 laps to go, I finally caught him near the end of the lap up the long switch back climb. I was gassed from the effort, but knew what I needed to do if I wanted to give myself a chance for the win. I spent the rest of the lap just trying to recover and get ready to make my next move.

Through the beginning of the 2nd lap, I was content just staying on his wheel. We went through the technical off camber section clean and down the hill one last time. Now was my chance to attack and see where he was at. Through the long flat, bumpy straight away behind the baseball diamonds, I laid it down. Out of the saddle I sprinted around Brain all out. The gap formed instantly. I turned the screws harder through every corner and every hill. I had a nice lead going into the last lap. I was still feeling strong and focused on maintaining the lead, and not making any mistakes. It worked! I was able to cross the line by myself for my first CX win of the year!

Thanks Brain for the great battle! This is one I will remember.

Congrats to Todd Greene on an outstanding 3rd. And Congrats to Tom Barret for a dominating win in the Cat 3s!

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