This was a pretty fun course except for the many many tight 180 degree hairpins. I crashed on one in practice and then followed that up with pretty much having no rhythm on them for the rest of the race.
There was a crash right at the start and I got backed up behind it and, as a result, was either the very last rider through the first corner or the guy in front of the last. Besides tight 180 degree hairpins my biggest problem in cross races is being aggressive and pushy enough to get a good position on the starting grid.
|Attempting to give the English archer's salute to Steve Woo. At least it made him laugh.|
Half of the course was pretty wide open and I was happy to find myself pretty strong and able to pass and gap riders on these sections. Then I pretty much just held my own on the turns and put the pedal to the metal whenever the course opened up again. As a result I was happy to go from dead last at the start to 16th by the end. I was using this race as a tune up so that was okay but I couldn't help thinking that a good start and my improved fitness over last year would have put me farther up than mid-pack. The main take away from this race was that, though I had definitely revved my motor decently I generally need to dig harder and make myself hurt a bit more in cyclocross racing to get better results. I was really just kind of cruising.
|I think I can legitimately "steal" this photo since it was hilighted on the CCCX page...|
But I had a good time and saw alot of racing buddies that I've seen recently or not so recently and some people I hadn't seen in about nine years. The bike racing community is such a good one and it's fun like family when you can catchup or just touch base.
Oh and I didn't pop my stitches so that was a bonus.