Race Report from Back East

This past weekend I was in upstate NY visiting family and decided to sneak in some racing. I raced the Uncle Sam Grand Prix (http://nycross.com/races/uncle-sam-grand-prix): Saturday raced with Cat 3/4 and Sunday raced SS. The turnout was much smaller than what I’m used to around here. About 50 people in the Cat 3/4 field and 25 or so in the SS field. Even with smaller crowds there was a great atmosphere and the racing was fantastic.

Saturday’s course was dry and fast, almost entirely on grass. The upper course consisted of some tricky corners with plenty of roots to keep things interesting and the lower course had plenty of off camber sections and a pretty nasty run up (that some of the elite men were riding). I got my ass handed to me on Saturday and finished near the back of the pack. My excuses: I was the only one in the field on a SS, I was rusty after not riding for a week, and it was so fast that it was more lungs than legs (and that’s a weakness of mine).
Sunday was much better. It was dumping rain (not the Northwest Drizzle we’re used to) all morning so the course was nice and sloppy by the time my race started at noon. I started in the back row, and managed to get through half the field by the first corner. About half way through the first lap I took a bad line on an off camber section and went down, and that cost me a few places I had to fight to take back. There were several off camber sections that were too slick to ride, and I found out the hard way that the tread on my shoes is worn down way too much. For every step forward I’d slide down the hill about two feet. All in all it was a good race, I felt strong, and finished somewhere mid-pack.
Here’s a look at the course from Saturday (when it was dry and fast):  http://vimeo.com/51475287
All-in-all: fun times racing on the East coast. Wish I’d done a slightly better job representing Team Stanley over there.
-David Brunelle