Monday, September 22, 2014

Waterford CX Day 1 and 2

Doublecross weekend. One of the (I guess) classic venues for Cyclocross in the states. Not a typical place to race cross, but the place does have everything you need for a great race. Its been a good place for me to race over the years as well. And at least this weekend yielded better results than last year. But since the weekend was compact with racing, here is the short story.

Day 1 - It was really hot and sunny. I was excited to race, but not about the heat. And in typical fashion, I botched my hydration plan a bit. The was was fast from the start. I was in a good spot. waiting for things to sort out. 3 laps in, the pace is high. The group is still 10 strong, and my heart rate is not coming down. I'm feeling sick, and my mouth is completely dry. I start sliding back. Brian W. Finally makes a jump to break up the group but I can't react. I slip back into the somewhere around 8-10. I had to back off and recover. I still felt like crap, but was able to start working my way up. I finally reach Andy F. and Tom B. who are fighting for the last podium spot. Tom makes a dig and I cover it, but it hurt. It was enough to get rid of Andy. But Tom surges again in the last lap, and I watch him ride away. It was probably the hardest 6th place I have earned to date. A ton of lessons learned on the day...

Day 2 - It was a lot cooler. Thank God. I get a good start and settle in on the top 5 group. Brian, was driving the train containing Alex M., Simon B., Andy F., Tom B, and myself and he was making it hurt. Again after 3 laps, Brain made another huge effort that finally dislodged a group of about 8. I was just hanging on. For the next few laps, I was getting gaped at the end of each lap, and having to burn a match to get back on during the long paved start finish area.

With 3 laps to go, I finally was able to keep the pace with the group and got a slight bit of recovery. I figured If I made it this far, I might as well throw in an attack and see what happens. By this time, the lead group was down to Brain, Alex, Simon, and myself. With a half lap to go, I attached on the paved climb. Brian stuck to my wheel, about Simon and Alex yo-yo'ed a little bit. This was the sign I was looking for. The group was content to let me control the back for the rest of the lap. on the 2nd to last lap, Brain Attacked through the barriers. I knew this was my train, and had to chase him down, I went. I was closing the gap, and opening up a gap of my own on Simon and Alex. With one lap to go, Brain dangled just ahead of me. I kept trying to bring him back, but he kept the throttle on full gas. The gap kept going up to Alex and Simon as well, which gave me some relief. the last 1/3 of the lap, Brain was almost completely out of reach. I just continued to keep my pace high and focus on not making any mistake. I finished a strong 2nd, and continued to learn even more...

Congrats to Ann on her Double wins!
Congrats to Brian on his Double wins!
Congrats to Aryn Pongo-moto for taking a win in his first CX race, and to his son Ash for taking a podium in his first cx race. I hope to see you boys out there again.

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