Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gateway Cross

Getting a top-10 at this race, and therefore a UCI point, was a major goal of mine. I was pretty psyched with the result, but honestly feel like I just made a ton of stupid mistakes so have mixed feelings about the race as a whole. 

The funny thing now is that I don't really know what I'll do with that UCI point! It was really just a goal too see if I could get one! Traveling on my own to USGP's doesn't really sound like much fun. And I guess I can understand why people that want to compete at the national level really benefit from a team with whom too travel. 

But, Last night was fun for fast dudes I don't know is awesome. Man, it was muddy! Really weird too race in such thick slop and not have it be cold. 

The first 2 laps (of 8) were typical big-race craziness. Not so much because there were lots of participants, in fact it was a pretty small race, but because things are really aggressive when there are pro's and want-to-be pro's.

On the first lap, I botched 2 run-up's and then on lap 2, I crashed in a boggy, peanut-butter mud poorly lit corner. I think I was riding 7th at that point. Despite mistakes, I was never worse than 13th. WIth 6 to go, I found myself in a group with the guys who all ended up 10th-15th.  With 5 to go, I was 5th wheel in my group coming through the start finish. Everyone looked like they were going hard on the concrete, so I wanted to test my legs and put in a little dig which ended up with me passing those guys. So I basically kept going with it, which broke up the group and made it me and 2 others. The pace with those 3 guys wasn't too hard, so it seemed like we wouldn't catch who ever was in 9th, so our race was for the last UCI points spot.

With 2 to go, I attacked on the boggy straight near the pits and got a gap. But towards the end of that lap, I lost grip on my hood and crashed and was passed by Brandon Cross a fellow mountain biker from Salt Lake City, who I would end up chasing really hard on the bell lap. I caught him with about a quarter of the lap left and passed on a tricky little kicker. I then blocked and pegged it coming through the turns before the start/finish straight. It was then a sprint finish for the last UCI point. I've only sprinted for a win a handful of times; so was mostly just winging it!

Now it's back to work and research. In terms of bikes, I can't really decide what to do with myself during October. My mountain bike was sold in order replace Maggie's bike, or otherwise I think I'd start riding more singletrack and try my legs at the Berryman Epic.

The thought of traveling to Ft Collins on my own or with Maggie/Cassidy in tow, seems like a quixotic quest and just not in the cards in terms of money/time. So, I'll probably do some local bubba races and try to get faster in time for Jingle cross, where I can put my UCI point too use!