Monday, August 30, 2010
With the first day of CX racing for 2010 under my belt I had to report in. I have spent my summer thinking about cross, and it was everything I was looking forward to!
Although, yesterday was the first day I can remember in a long time (since I was about 7 years old) that I was wishing were older! One year off from being able to race Masters, and without a female partner for the co-ed, I was left with only one choice: the 1/2/3 race.
I had low expectations but high hopes going into the race. I've shed a ton of weight for this season and added some power to boot, but with guys like Mike Sherer, Mike Hemme, Scott McLaughlin, Brandon Leech, Newt Cole, etc etc, I knew a top-10 finish would be more than good to satisfy me.
Derrick took our first lap, and even though he had a great LeMans-type run, I botch up the hand off a bit. The organization of handing up had changed since he went to the start line, but we were off.
Finishing his first lap we were in 13th place, not a bad start at all! When I took off I had two guys immediately ahead of me, but they were working together on the fast sections and I was just out of touch about 40 feet behind.
Coming out of the only technical section, a set of off-camber turns and a barrier, I stood and sprinted along some pavement and closed the gap on those two. We then had a toilet bowl, a couple more turns, a barrier, then a long straight. I went all out and got around both of them on the straight just in time to tag off to Derrick.
A few more laps go by, and now the field is spread out. For me that's the hardest part, making yourself sprint with no one around. But out of each corner I tell myself: if you aren't sprinting you're losing time, because someone else is.
About 10 laps in a guy ahead of me washes out in the toilet bowl and rolls both of his tubbies. Something has changed in my thinking because even though we were going hard through there, I didn't dabble a bit, changed my line, and stayed really smooth. I thought that put us in 10th.
A few more laps down and I hear the bell for Derrick, which means I get the last lap. Knowing this was it, I went all out. I looked down at my Garmin less than 1 minute into the lap and my HR is 187. Awesome. This is what I needed.
I throw my bike over the barrier, remounted quickly and was off to the off-camber section. This has been getting looser and looser because of all of the riding, but I wasn't about to run it! I clicked into my small ring and stayed back on my rear wheel: no problem.
A couple more hard sprints, a few more corners, and it's over.
9th place for Derrick and I in the 1/2/3 race. Take out a couple of teams that we all knew would be top-5 (assuming no technical issues) and we were better than I could have hoped for.
Now back to the grind, a couple more good weeks of training and starving!
(Photo credit to Nikki Cyp)
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Photo: Nikki Cyp
To kickoff the start of the cyclocross season, XXX Racing hosted a unique tag team cyclocross race in Jackson Park.
Iron Cycles represented in a big way with riders in almost every category race throughout the day.
The weather was super hot and for the Co-ed race Katie, Kristina, and I decided to race in briefs for aerodynamic advantage and to stay cool. We looked super hot as well if I do say so myself.
I wanted to race shirtless and Sharpie my number on my back, but Katie said there was some kind of rule that required racers to have sleeves covering their arms. Next year I am going to outsmart the officials and go with a Speedo sans shirt and arm warmers.
I don't know if results matter much in this race, but it looks like we had some pretty good results. Kristina continued her streak as the podium princess and was on the podium twice today, with Katie in the woman's open, and with me in the co-ed open.
It's going to be a fun season.
Friday, August 27, 2010
This past weekend Iron Cycles had a big turnout at the Palos Meltdown.
Making his dirt debut in the Comp class, the indomitable Steven Van Deven won the race. Also making her mountain bike debut after an 8 year hiatus, Kristina Young finished second overall in the Sport race (1st Age Group).
Watch out for them this cross season.
Also racing were Derrick, Tim, Mike and I. Additionally, Sophia was instrumental in providing race support and cookies for weary racers.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
On 8/17 the Soldier Field Cycling Series held its makeup from the June rainout. A bit of rain was in the forecast, but aside from a few drops it missed us for the 4/5 races. The A race, which was the later of two scheduled 4/5 heats, included me and two other Iron Cycles teammates: Chase Negley and Ken Dorado.
I talked to Chase before the race and we had the same plan, ride near the front 5-10 positions to avoid any crashes and react to moves if they occurred. Chase being the stronger and more experienced rider, I hoped to help him out if possible.
Chase and I lined up in the first row next to each other. The first few laps were fast and I was anywhere from 3rd to 6th wheel. During the 5th lap, which was a prime lap, I sat in second wheel going into the back straightaway. This was into a headwind and as the guy pulling peeled off, I attacked and brought a couple other riders with me. Coming around the last turn I was passed by a Cutting Crew rider (who had won the first 4/5 race), who took the prime. He eased up across the line and me, a XXXer and another rider passed him. As we made the second turn, one of the guys said "we've got a gap, let's go" and they began pushing a bigger gear to see if they could make the break stick.
I went with them through that 6th lap. As we went onto the 7th, I lost their wheels and looked over my shoulder, finding the CC rider. He came around me and took a pull, where I sat on his wheel about 30 seconds but I couldn't hold that either. Meanwhile a chase group of about 5-10 riders caught me. Part of that group shot ahead, while about 5 of us stayed grouped together.
After maybe another 5 laps I was cooked and couldn't hang onto their wheels. I ended up soloing the last 7 laps by myself and averaged 24.4mph. The leaders finished were half a lap ahead of me, while we all had lapped the back 1/3 of the field twice.
My legs definitely were still hurting from racing at Glencoe on Saturday and doing 76 miles on Sunday.
Lesson learned: the tactic worked, as the prime lap attack I made created a split in the field, but I didn't have the legs to stick on a wheel and recover enough to stay up in the breakaway or the second group.
The race came down to the small break, with a 3-man sprint to the line. Chase said he basically just ran out of road and had to settle for second, still a great finish for Iron Cycles. Here's a pic of the 4/5 podium from our race.