Monday, September 21, 2015

Ready, Set, Bleed....

CX is finally here, and already its been a crazy busy few weeks of racing.

First off was the Alma GP of CX. JB Hancock hit this race out of the park this year! With top not promotion, a course this is a work of art, and all the hype of a UCI caliber event. This will the a key race in the New MBRA CX series for years to come.

As for the race, I was nervous as hell, but couldn't wait to test the legs and finally get the CX circus on the road for another season.

From the whistle, I couldn't clip in. I went from the front row, to about 12th. Buy the time we hit the first corner, I could see the lead group of 5 slipping away. I didn't panic and knew what I had to do. I started picking of riders one by one. I was feeling strong and comfortable. About half way through, I finally started catching the top 5 guys. First Dan K, then Andy F, Simon B, and finally Brian W. By the time I caught Brian, I could see Lako within sight. Todd Greene had broken up the group and was about to solo his way to his first masters win.

I passed Brain and he hopped on my wheel. I pulled to close the gap to Brad. We came within about 4 seconds. Then Brad was able to pry a few more seconds on us. Into the last lap, Brain was able to take a turn pulling. This was our chance to catch Brad in 2nd. half way through the last lap, up the stairs and remounting my bike, I missed the saddle and crashed to the ground. Brain slips away, Wade Burch comes by, and Dan K is closing in... I was able to hang on to 5th.

Uncle John's Dirty Ride -

The next day, I decided to do a new dirt road race on the calender. a 56 mile gravel grinder. My knee was questionable from the tweaking it the day before, but it felt good enough to give it a shot.

We had a very respectable group at the start line.The group contained guys like Dan Yankus, Tom Burke, Craig Webb, Adam York, and a host of other fast dudes included some team mates Jim "Jacko"and Tony Baustuk. 30 of us exploded from the start line! It was blistering fast. we soon ramped up, and averaged 22+ MPH for the entire race. I stayed tucked in the group for most of the day. However, I did try to get into a break with York, but it was brought back. Half way though York, Yankus and Webb got away and stayed away. No one was willing to work to catch them, but the pace remained high. With 2 miles to go, the attacks started one after another. I was able to stay near the front and help pull them back. When Burke Decided to get into the mix, I knew this was my ticket to a high finish.

This late move was the one to continue to break up and string out the group. We came into the Orchard, and up the hill to the finish. I was with Collin Snyder, Burke and Jacko trying to wind up for a some what confusing sprint. In the end, I was able to sneak in for 10th place overall.

Waterford CX Day 1 -

This past weekend was the Tailwind Waterford Double Cross weekend. I came into the race feeling good again, and ready to have a better race and finish with a higher result than Alma.

When the whistle blew, I was able to clip in! YES! I worked my way down the straight away, and settled in around 5 or 6th place. A few blows came early, but nothing stuck. About 3 laps in. the group was still about 10 strong. I decided to throw a big punch and attack hard through the start finish and deep into the course. It worked. The group was now down to Brain W, Simon B, Lako and myself. We had a good gap on the rest of the field, and now the in fighting began.

We each traded pulls and punches lap after lap... No one was willing to give up or slow down. But it didn't seem to be working. Finally with about 3 laps to go. Brian made what seemed to be a harmless dig open up a gap. But each corner he turned it on. Brad, Simon, and I each tried to pull him back but no luck. Brain was free to fly. But there was still some meat on the bone.

Into the final lap, Simon, Brad and I was still wheel to wheel. Simon was able to get about a 3-4 second gap. I was just off of Brad's wheel. Simon takes 2nd, and I am able to swing around Brad at the finish line for 3rd. This was some of the best racing I have ever been apart of!

Waterford CX Day 2 -

Still feeling good and hoping to improve. The race starts out the same way as the day before, but now find a group of 6 instead of 4 at the front. Now its the same 4 from the day before and Alex M, and Todd Greene. This time, I am content with Brad, Brain, Simon, and Todd, beating each other up as I sit on the back and wait. Alex sits with me. But in reality, I was on my limit and was just trying to hang on.

With 4 laps to go. Alex crashes at the barrier. and is not able to close the gap back. So now the group is down to 5. with 2 to go, I figure if I have any chance at all, now is it. In the start/finish straight, I make a huge attack. It hurts. It hurts really bad! During the attack, Todd crashes as well and gets gaped. Its back down to the same 4 guys as the day before. This time we start closer together all the way to the end. But still I am struggling to hang on, and just hoping to be in contact at the end to contest for the sprint. Into the final corner, the gap pries open too much. Brain takes his 2nd win of the weekend. Brad is about to out sprint Simon for 2nd and I limp in a few more seconds for 4th. Again, Incredible racing by these guys. Just when you think you can't go any harder, you line up with friends like these.

(photo credit; Dennis Willard)

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