This past summer I had committed to making a solid go at CX this year and so I reg'd for a pretty serious block of racing in Sept through Holy Week. We're in the thick of it now. Midnight Ride is classically considered the kick off to Holy Week which consists of the UCI races in Gloucester this weekend and Providence next weekend with Night Weasels in between next Wednesday.
This was my first really big field (100+) of the year so I was interested to see where I would shake out. Usually the fields get stronger as they get bigger and closer to a population center like Boston. I was predicted and staged in the low 30's but I was hoping to do better than that.
Start went ok. I didn't move up all that far but I also didn't move back or get swamped. I immediately started moving up once the course started turning. Kinda funny the amount of free speed I get on many of the other guys towards the front of a 4/5 field. I just sort of slide past guys going through corners because they are on their brakes more than I am. Picked a few more off at the barriers and towards the tail end of lap 1 I was up in the top 15-20 in a small group of 5-6 guys.
Group was a mix of characters with different strengths. I was dangling a bit in the straightaways but never far enough to not catch back on easily in a corner or barrier section. Most of the middle portion of the race was little gains and little errors, gaining a spot and loosing a spot. Not much comedy or epic crashing though, just dusty suffering. After awhile 2 or so guys faded out of the group and there were 3-4 of us going into the last lap. I was up against Jesse Lowe again (the guy I sprinted against at Sucker Brook on Sunday) and I was trying to figure out how to avoid that fate again.
I think I handle a tad better than him but hes no slouch when it comes to pedaling. I was having a hard time finding a pass without really having to go way into the red or take a big risk taking a corner at speed. We came into the final section of the course 1-2 in the group we were in. We hit some lapped traffic and things got a bit frantic as we all tried to navigate through cleanly. Similar to Sucker Brook I was right there but positioned just a bit too far off heading into the final straight. He got me again but I held the rest of the group off for a pretty solid 12th in a really big field. My best points result to date.
I had gone pretty deep in the 4/5 and immediately after finishing the thought of having 15mins until the SS race was HILARIOUS. Seriously considered bagging it and just hanging out but 5 mins after that I felt ok and was 'ready' to go. I remembered that SS is mostly party anyway and if I bonked midway through I already had a good result and I could just party in to the finish. #party
I decided to forgo my staging spot and just line up at the back. Figured working up through the field would be better mentally than getting blown out from the get go. Eric did day of reg so he was back there as well. I figured we could team up but at the gun he dusted me something fierce and I spent the first 2-3 laps or so trying to work my way back up to his group. Eric had snuck off the front of his group and I managed to sneak through it and up to him with 2 to go. I announced my arrival and offered to take a pull to increase said gap.
we worked together through the final laps and got some sweet pics taken of us in the process:
We even managed to reel in @Ge_Willi on the final false flat drag and sneak around him for one last placing before the finish. Another good 'ole painful day of racing in the books. My points are down to 431 heading into Gloucester which has me staged 22 of 125. How low can I go?!