Well, I finally feel like it's cross season. Andy Applegate hosted the MacDaddy CX Training race at Mars Hill College yesterday. The course was great except for the one big ass hill. It was unavoidable though and it would have been a shame to leave it out. I didn't do to well, (insert excuses here) last weeks pack ride was brutal, the wind was howling in every direction and since it was the last PR until April, everyone was riding as if this was their last shot of glory . The pace was extremely high, 28mph into a strong headwind. Then on Thursday we had the final of three TT's. I like our TT course although it's not for purists, with four turns, and three hills that get progressively harder it's a difficult course. I rode pretty hard and ended up with a personal best of 26.37 for 10.5 miles, my previous best time was 27.30. Anyway, getting back to the point I was pretty tired on Sunday for the MCD.
With the way I felt and that big ole' hill looming above us, starting in the back was a given. I started slow not wanting to blow before getting to the the hill. We rode up a grade almost from the start until we turned into the hill side and it was to steep to ride. Then it was shoulder the bike and run or kinda shuffle your feet until you made the pavement at the top. The fun part of each lap was loosing all the elevation we gained, dropping fast, catching air over the lip of the embankments we rode down and then oodles of tight turns it was great.
Crashing didn't help my position much. I crashed in the same place on the first two laps, hit a tree root that was in the shadows. I think I took a different line through that turn then during warm-up. You should always do a hot lap at race pace before you actually do the race. Don't know where I ended up, but the second crash took the wind out of my sails and I pretty much rode in for the rest of the race.
Other highlights: Seeing Jason Morgan the NCCX champ face plant into the second barrier at speed (fortunately he was unhurt), watching this young guy bunny hop the barriers and the biggest highlight... watching Andy and Eric battle each other for two thirds of the race. It was awesome to see those guys, they are both gifted athletes. Eric finally gapped Andy on the descent and pulled away from him (big ring Eric) and was closing in on second when he ran out of road. Great job on getting third place Eric.
I'm pretty sore today, I thought that after all the CX practice we've been doing I would have been more used to things, but my spindly right arm is sore from lifting the bike so many times, and I'm stowed up from the crashes (feeling sorry for me yet?). Mike Mefford crashed too but was the best finisher of our group in the B race. Mike Patterson was like me when he saw the BAH, and used the race for training. The race served it's purpose for me though, got through the 45:00, got some crashing in, and I'm beginning to feel that tingle of exitment that is so special to CX.
Race entry fee: $10.00, 2 Crashes: sore body, Racing Cross: Priceless, The crossman cometh.