Going into this weekend I had a good recovery after three solid weeks of training. It was probably the best I have felt going into a race weekend since I returned to racing last year. Instead of the usual worries about what I hadn't done I spent the week working out some of the bugs in my bike position and getting my tires dialed in a little better.
Saturday was going to be a hard race no matter how you looked at it. It was a monster field, 150 riders, and there where way too many guys racing in this that had not business still being in the Cat. 4’s. I wanted to try something a little different for this race, so at the start I just plain went for it knowing full well that I was going to pay for it later in the race. I was rewarded with a really good position after the first lap and surprisingly the cost wasn't as high as I thought it would be. Yes, I did give up some positions later in the race, but my lap times after the first lap were 9:11, 9:13 and a final lap of 9:12. Never expected my times to stay that consistent after the effort I put in at the start. The one thing that I did notice that I need to work on was at the start of the second lap a teammate passed me and I was able to hang with him for the second lap. On the third lap, every time we accelerated out of a corner a little gap would open and it got harder and harder to close it down until I finally snapped. All of a sudden I was 19 seconds behind him. Finished 54 out of 133.
Sunday I knew was going to be a totally different day as soon as I started warming up. My legs had no snap to them. I could push a big gear, but had no cadence at all. After the results from the day before, I decided to try the same thing and just go at the start. They ended up being the best move of the day as there were at least three pileups right off the start. I managed to stay clear of all the chaos and had a good position when things settled down. Unfortunately my legs never came around, and although I kept a steady pace for the whole race I did give up positions slowly throughout the race. I was in a group at the end of lap two and didn't hit the lap counter, but what I did get was my average speed for laps 2 and 3 was 12.9. My average speed for the last lap was 13.2, so that still tells me that I was going as strong at the end as the beginning. No complains there! Finished 55 out of 132.
As for the course, it was great. Adam Myerson and company put on a first class event and it is one that I am already looking forward to for next year. The course was fast, dry and still challenging. Both days had full fields in the Cat. 4’s, but the course was open enough that the racing fun. Can you use fun to describe a ‘cross race?