Race Report from Cross of the North – CO
Starting a ‘cross race when it was 90 degrees was counter-intuitive. I think that’s why the chief USAC referee said at the start line (and his name is hush-hush) “If you’ve got people out there, they can give you hand-ups anywhere. I’m not going to police that today”. Dang. I should’a’ had some people. More on that later. Anyway, finally I started NOT in the back but on the second row in the 35+ Cat 3 field due to my hard work at CX last year. And this despite the fact I’d missed the TT Saturday to determine start position. Barely making it to the start line in time, I felt OK and was ready. The course was the USGP course held in Fort Collins last October. I was stoked to race it finally after just hosting and watching last year. I started 10th-ish and then quickly moved to 5th after the fumblety-bumblety that is a ‘cross start. The course was incredibly dry, extremely bumpy, audaciously sandy, and quite technically difficult. Perfect. The dude in front of me crashed 2 times in the first half lap and covered the whole course with his yard sales. After the second one, which also took me out, I regained and passed him finally. Then I noticed that the front of my bike was unusually chattery. Why is my skewer lever dangling out there like that? OH! Thank you lawyer tabs for saving my collar bone. A few seconds to re-secure the wheel after my tangle with Mr. Crash-happy, and losing 2 places, I was back at it. It was a good day on the bike. I felt focused and had good acceleration so I just went after it. The goal was to stay smooth and not make mistakes–cuz on this course that equals fast; then to attack the climbs. This netted me catching and sticking with 1st and 2nd place for the 3rd and 2nd to last of 6 laps. We were all together, and the announcer confirmed it. So, now I thought, let’s get ’em!! But I was pretty much on my limit. And this is when I screamed at Kacey (who was screaming at me to go faster), “Get me some water!!”. Did I mention it was 90 degrees? Yah, and Kacey never came through. Dang. Well, anyway, 1 and 2 (who had water ;)) had a little more power than me and I was slightly gapped in the last lap. We’re talking 10 seconds. Uh, and, that’s the way it ended. Dang. But 3rd ain’t bad at all and it was a pretty big field and competitive riding for sure. I didn’t realize until the results afterwards that we had a 1 minute gap on 4th!! Super fun to go fast on a very hard course. Kacey did his best, too, and cheered a ton. And then I may have drunk 2/3 of his beer right after the finish. This was punishment for not giving me water. I kinda feel bad now. I’ll buy him lunch!
Cat 3 35+