Took the trip to Hermann on Sunday for the first cross race of the year. It felt a bit weird and inappropriate that the temps were in the 80s and everything was as dry as can be. Oh well, lots of familiar faces around and people were psyched to get the season started.
My aunt Mary-Jo and Uncle Tom are pure genius and decided to sell fresh brewed, individual cups of coffee (and hot chocloate!) at all of the cross events this fall. Please stop by and enjoy a cup...Maggie had some and she basically only likes coffee from one place (Meshuggah's) and she thought it was awesome coffee. The proceeds go towards a good cause.
As for the race, I did the cat 3 race and as you can see from the photos below, there wasn't a huge turn-out but nonetheless there were some strong people there.
We started and within a half of a lap I found myself off front. There was a steep, but short climb where most of the other racers were running for the first lap, then having to remount on an off-camber section of grass before a bumpy but fast descent down towards a maze of ribbon. Being able to attack that climb without getting off to run is the biggest difference for me between this year and last year. It was soon after that climb where I first pulled away off the front.
After a few laps, I was joined by Alex Gormann (sp?) who I raced against every event last cx season and it was basically just like old times. We worked together and ended up having a great time. Towards the end of the lap, I botched a good opportunity to attack before the last few turns and the barriers, which would have served me well since the technical stuff was more of my strength. Since I didn't attack, we came to the last pavemented straight-away together and laid down our sprints. Yikes. He crushed me. Oh well...riding a single speed all summer did some great things for my climbing and technical skills, but my sprint is definitely lacking compared to my brethren (or perhaps cousins is more appropriate) of the road.
Overall, it was a great start to the season...fun course, great people, a nice warm late-summer day.