Wednesday, October 20, 2010

MAC Granogue CX Day 2

Sunday offers another chance to correct all of the things you screwed up on Saturday. Again, this is why cross is awesome. 

My wife proved this by lining up for the Womens 3/4 race after a pretty miserable day prior. You can see her pouty face in the previous post. Although not missing but missing her call up (she was present but couldn't make her way through the crowd in time to grab her spot) she had a great start and rode some really good lines. I broke my long standing no trainer on the weekend policy and sat under the tent with the guys watching her do her thing on the off camber, I think I even saw a little controlled drifting in there. My efforts to teach her how to slide/turn on a local baseball field were not in vein. She had one small bobble on the last lap running down the run up, and lost a spot, but got it back in the sprint to the line, which was pretty impressive to watch. She nabbed 20th out of 50 starters and earner her best MAC finish yet.
Great shot of Lauren riding a tough spot. Photo Cred unknown..

Anxiety was high leading into my race, not from fear of the actual race itself, but that I had to pin one of my teammates up. I suck at pinning... not as bad as Gorka who employs the "We better affix this number to your skin to make sure it says on" approach. Not good. Colin luckily was pretty cool with th fact that I screwed up so bad his skinsuit actually ripped a bit. Fail.

Saturday's start was less than ideal for me. I was lucky the course was not as tight at Charm City where I botched the Day 1 start. I had a new approach to the start that roughly consisted of not having a mini blow up 45 seconds into the race and bleeding 7 positions. The gun went off and I found my pedal as if my Egg Beaters were suddenly magnetic. One more burst got me the early holeshot, problem is the sprint off the line is like 30 seconds long. I Sat down early and just continued to wind out, expecting a few people to come around... but nobody did. As I passed the blaring amplifiers with techno blasting I let out a little fist pump while leading. I don't know if anyone got the joke or just thought I was a jackass, but I thought it was funny, and funny took my mind off putting my heartrate from 80 to 180 in less than a minute. I backslide 1 or 2 spots and was chasing Gerry and Steven. Steven managed to gradually slide off the front by a very slow but consistent rate. Don came around me a couple laps in two leaving Fred Brown and me to chase the duo of Gerry and Don. Aside from a little lack of snap I was having trouble shifting to the big ring as we came out the to road. a 36 tooth ring wasn't really helping me catch back on... I wasn't hurting too bad, but I just couldn't get that last 2% out I needed to completed the surges to Gerry and Don. I that same 2% couldn't get rid of Fred no matter how hard I jumped at him.
Photo Cred: Chris Stine
We entered the bell lap and was pretty sure of two things: I wasn't going to catch Gerry, but I could probably take Fred if I made an early series of surges. We had a big gap back to 6th, so even if I imploded I was safe. I came into the first set of hard off camber turns and went to accelerate out when I dropped my chain. Thankfully a simple upshift put it back on, but while my legs were spinning way to quickly Fred came around and got a small gap. It took me to the next climb to get back on his wheel, and when I finally made contact I attacked. I have no recollection if it worked or not, but if it did it didn't get me much. The list of attacks I threw down that Fred covered were now growing very long. I dismounted for the final run up with a small gap. Fred gambled and tried to ride it. If he had it would have been interesting as we likely would have had to sprint. 
Photo Cred: Chris Stine

Luckily for me he didnt make it and my gap grew bigger. I made it out to the road with more than enough space to hold on for 4th.I crossed the line, dying a small death and circled around to talk to Gerry. Matt Harris rolled in not too far behind to take 6th. I was so pumped. We ended up with 5 riders in the top 25, which I think is pretty cool.

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