I have been working my ass off to try to get faster at cross, mostly because its so much freaking fun! its also chaos most of the time sometimes with very little control.
- Marilla Park Cyclocross • Carrera De Los Muertos
The race of the Dead, proved to be one of my most trying race this year. I committed many blunders today.
the marilla cross race was much more technical than anything we have rode on thus far, its truly did favor MTBs IMO or just might be that I am not as good of a cross bike rider as I was thinking.
1. I rolled up to the start thinking smugly "hey I was the third best SS last week" I am getting a call up. NOPE. noone got call ups. I sheeplishly moved way into second row.
2. I feel so many time on loose corners and overall rode like donkey poo.
3. I recently switched to single release shimano cleats to keep from popping out when mashing my SS uphill. guess what on the hill of death I wasnt releasing. the hill of death
4. I attacked Marc and John when I should have just kept going strong, instead they smartly dropped my ass and I could never recover.
I ended up 5th place which according to crossresults.com was my second worst race this year after the first SS race of the year at Waynseburg. Good news? I beat Don Powers again call it revenge cause he is much better MTBer than me!
me getting ready to run past Powers
Me railing hard into the Hill of Death
me laughing at how terrible I was on the run up. Painfaceblog.com photo.
and Pratt got a great one of me warming up
I also found out after the race that my square tapered cranks was done. I hate square tapered cranks with passion I am not ever willing running one again after this season. Luckly pathfinder hooked me up.
After helping set up the course for the next day and some fun times in WVU town on devil's Eve and a surprisingly good night's sleep in a crowded college apartment(thanks Ryan!), I was feeling better the next morning for......
Day 2 - WVU Cross aka White Park aka the base ball field cross.
Day 2 of the weekend brought us one of the more varied cross courses off the year thus far. It was also sprawling and not compact like the rest of the ABRA course this year. The course started out with a road section after 2 sweepers put you out on to a very root hairpin on to 2 basketball court hairpins, some twisty grass stuff to a long straight till a quasi run up that most anyone rode everytime. it then went into a playground with the the worst gravel of the year so far. After the playground short steep little climb to a hair pin back down the hill leading to a couple more hair pins then down to the mud pit of doom by the low baseball fields. You then started a medium length gravel road section that generally went uphill. this lead you into the 3 baseball infield in a row that was VERY tricky to navigate at first as the sand had such varying levels of traction. Till the final road section with a 180 turn before the finish line.
I showed up and got front row start spot. Beside my unclipping fail going into the first gravel pit I had a really good race, Ill give it a 8 outta of 10. Crossresult.com seems to think it was second best race of the year and I can agree with it. I stayed strong the whole time and eventually caught montana but he got away again before the finish. Still only a 8 second gap to him is the closest I have been all year and Gerry didnt totally crush us either but then again maybe gerry didnt want to totally crush us either. 3rd place behind Montana and Gerry is ok and i got closer to them so I am happy.
The quasi run up that was clearable everytime
start of the gravel road section did I mention how cold it was?
I was feelign good so I signed up for the 3/4 race. This would be what I thought was my best race this year in cross from a effort stand point. crossresult.com agrees. I started strong and was sitting in the back half of the top 10. I continued to move up and ride a pretty clean solid race. I was eventually finding myself in the top 5 then the top 3, and for a very brief moment I was second. While I was second with Duncan Oliver on his fast crossized Superfly I tried to drop him on the road and really just drop myself. The MTBer were killing it in the baseball fields and I well wasnt. He eventually got past me, and Jason Cyr made me look like I was going backwards and evnetually Duncan's WVU teammate Todd got past me. I recovered and held of the ever fast Joe Lydic for a 5th Place finish. We (being place 2nd -5th) also were closer to beating Jacob Grantham that anyone has been in weeks.
My painface and my brief time in second
close up from painfaceblog.com
overall a great weekend I look forward to a double(maybe triple) header this weekend, should be cold muddy and maybe snowy!