Saturday, October 8, 2011

MFG #3 - SCCA/Starbucks GP - North Bend 10/2/2011


I am a million posts behind but I'm going to try to keep up on Cross updates.

My total CX experience consists of racing Lake Sammamish in 2010 and 1 lap of the Labor day season opener this year. I only made it 1.5 laps due to rolling my front tubular tire off the wheel. My fitness is pretty solid right now but I have zero off road skills, game on!

The plan was to race Cat4 35+ @ 9:30am and the open Cat4 @ 10:20am, back to back baby! I drove out to North Bend and arrived in plenty of time to register and take a couple warmup laps before the first race. I have been adding more running into my workouts lately, this and a hard-ish team ride the day before left my legs feeling just OK. At the start I was nervous but ready to go. I was starting from the 3rd row and had some work to do to improve my position. I started off OK, probably 30th back or so in a field of 90 going into the first turn. After a short uphill section on gravel there's a sharp right hander, as I hit the apex of the corner I found myself on the ground, dammit! Rolled my front tire off again.  I picked myself up and hurried back to find the neutral wheel tent. Thanks FSA for being out there supporting these races! The rest of the race was uneventful, I picked people off and built a little confidence on the course.

I had just a few minutes between races to race back to my car, adjust my brakes, swap my race numbers, get in a gel and water, and finally shoot back over to the start. I arrived at the start line 2 minutes before we started. My start wasn't fantastic, I got pushed out to the right down the opening stretch and again was 40 or so riders back entering the first turn. Over the next couple laps as riders tired I made pass after pass on the straightaways. Once I moved up to about 20th it was apparent that the guys in  front of me were generally far superior technically. Over the last couple laps I passed a few riders but for the most part I would pull riders in on the flats and get dropped in the turns and technical sections. I was at the tail of a chase group of 6-7 riders starting the last lap. Try as I might I just didn't have the legs to get past this group. I took a small amount of pride in piping a guy at the finish but was disappointed I couldn't have picked off a few more riders. Overall I finished 16th out of a field of 90. Hard to get real excited about 16th but for my 2nd CX race ever and 1st this year I'll take it!

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