Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kings CX weekend

THE GARTMAC© and I motored down to just outside of Cincy early Saturday morning to race the 2 day weekend put on by 7 Hills cycling.

The venue was pretty sweet, it was an old golf course that was taken over for cyclocross and cross country. We should do that in the Cleveland area...

Saturday's racing was pretty straight forward. The course was pretty much the least technical thing ever. A few fast 180s and a few off camber sections, but besides that, a grass crit, which isn't my strength.

I got a good start, and was with a lead group of maybe 4 dudes for 3 or so laps. It got to the point that they'd put in these gigantic accelerations out of the corners, and I eventually couldn't match them. So off the lead group I went.

It was pretty much a time trial from then. I had to hold off Kenda's Ryan Gamm behind me, and was thinking about making a move up to a Bob's Red Mill dude in front of me, but that would have required a huge effort, and with the big race being Sunday, I wanted to have a little in the tank.

I rolled through in 8th place in the elites. Not bad.

Sunday was the course reversed. Still fast and dusty. The only hard part was the sand from the first day was now uphill. Ouch.

The race played out the same exact way as it did on Saturday. Good start, hung with the fast guys for 3-4 laps, and then had to chase. As you can see in the video, I was in no-mans land.

Same deal as the previously day on the finishing end too. I was able to hold off Gamm, but this time I took the dig to try to catch the guy in front of me. I wasn't able to do it, but such is life.

8th in elites again.

NEOCX race at Kent State Stark this weekend, along with OMBC at West Branch.

Cincy UCI3 is on the horizon, and I'm very excited.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wendy Park sweatfest


The photo pretty much describes my feelings on the day... hurt and sweaty

Spin organized the second race of the NEO CX series. It was actually pretty similar to Lake Effect's setup last year, with the addition of a nice long beach section, which was rough, and some additional twists and turns.

So on to the racing: I have had a mental block this year with getting myself clipped in and getting a good start. This race was no exception. I completely blew it at the start and had a ton of difficulty clipping in, so I was probably 6th wheel or so through the first few turns.

Luckily I was able to move up by the barriers and myself, Matt Weeks and Steve Twining got a little bit of a gap. I'm not quite as super stud as they are, so I was able to hold on for a lap and a half, then had to fall back, being passed by Paul Martin and Jason Halloran. Ernie and I rode together for a few laps, and reeled Jason in. The course was pretty much a madhouse. There were people walking through it with their heads down to go fishing, stakes and tape were falling over, people were faceplanting, and pretty much everyone was getting flats.

After Ernie and I got up to Jason, Ernie was able to get away letting Jason and I duke it out for the last 3ish laps. He was riding very strong, so I new I was in for a hard fought battle. When push came to shove, he had the legs that day and I didn't. He attacked me at the end of the pier right before 1 to go, and when I went to counter, I just couldn't get back on, no matter how hard I tried. So, defeated, I was able to keep the rubber side down and roll through in 6th place. Not as nice as the Manitoc results, but the season is young.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Big Valley Day 1: CX Race

First and foremost, thanks to 331 racing for putting on another awesome year at Manitoc, and thanks to Team Lake Effect and all of our gracious volunteers for putting on a well-ran cross race.

After much anticipation, cross season was upon us. I had spent a day earlier in the week laying out the course, so I knew what to expect: some twisty, rooted singletrack, and some nice wide open grass. A U-Turn sand pit mixed stuff up a little bit. It was a tough course: if you let your guard down for a second you'd pinch flat, or do as I did, wipe out on gravel.

I lined up next to Team Jamis mountain biker Blake Harlan whose bags were lost in transit and was rocking some stylish baggies and a polo.

The gun went off, Blake got the holeshot, and I was right on his wheel. We twisted and turned a little until we got to the first bit of singletrack. It was then and there that Steve Twining made his move, and that was pretty much the last I saw of him all day.

Steve was in the lead, Blake second, and me third. The rooted section was very adventageous for a mountain bike, so I hoped that I could keep them in sight, then make up some time on the grass sections. Matt Weeks was bridging up to me, and when he got there, it was time to do some work together.

That would have been fine and well, until he pinch flatted at the very top of the singletrack section. Time to go it alone. I proceeded to bury myself to catch Blake, and during lap 3, I was able to. Sweeet.

What wasn't sweet was about 10 seconds after passing him, I got a grape vine type twig wrapped up in my cassette, and had to stop to take it out. All that hard work for nothing :-(

I then continued to try to play catch up, burying myself to catch Blake again, and keep Cameron Jackson, who was behind me at a comfortable gap. The laps pretty much went the same. Try to lose as little time as possible in the single track, and then make it up on the grass. Twining was kicking ass, so was Blake, so I figured I'd hold on for third.

Must have been my lucky day, as Blake cracked in probably the most huge way that anyone has ever cracked. I felt bad for him when we caught up after the race. He said he was hurting. So there you have it. I was able to pass him with maybe 2 to go, and opened up a more comfortable gap on Cameron. Aside from eating shit super hard in the gravel, the rest of the race went off without a hitch.

Twining rolled through in first, me in second, Cameron third, Weeks fourth (after being in dead last because of his flat).

Good job to everyone who raced, Lake Effect had a strong showing, with 4 guys in the top 10 of the A's, Julie kicking butt in the women's B's and A's, and a good chunk of B racers killing it.