Thursday, October 1, 2015

Night Weasels 2015

Finally! A cross race in 2015 that I don't have #dustlung after I finish.  I was really hoping for a crazy slippy slide-y mudfest, which we didn't quite get but I'll take no #dustlung.

Second time racing under the lights in the past week and a half although I personally don't race under the lights because as race announcer Ryan Kelly likes to point out we are just Cat 4/5's and are not good enough to race in the actual dark (probably mostly true).

I went into this race with higher hopes than usual.  Its a good course for me with all the climbing and descending and if its wet its even better.  The whole wet thing didn't really pan out.  New England got hammered Wed morning but it had been so dry much of the moisture was absorbed in short order and the course being a ski hill it drained fairly well right down and off the 'mountain'.  Course was probably dryer than it was last year.

you can tell I'm going faster due to the more pronounced speed blur

I was staged third row in the combined u40 and 40+ field of about 100 or so.  I got a good start and moved up to top 15 quickly.  I was feeling good early on the first climb and was the first into an alternate / faster line and passed 4-5 guys about halfway up moving into top 10.  Powered up the rest of the climb and was feeling good.  I didn't know it at the time but I had gone out a bit too hard.  I hit that climb on lap 2 and immediately felt bogged down.  Heart was a tad pinned and I was having a hard time bringing it back down.

Dudes were coming back to me in short order (including my nemesis Jesse) and I wasn't able to latch on as they came by.  3 or 4 snuck by in a small group and got about 5-10 secs pretty quickly.  I was riding the descents clean and making up time in the barriers and stairs but over the next lap or two I was swapping places with a few guys.  Including one young guy with lets call it an enthusiastic riding style.  He came by early on the first descent but then found one of the hidden pot holes in a spectacular fashion on the way down.  I could have warned him, I saw him heading right for it but he's young and made of rubber and this is a race so I let him endo and learn a lesson the hard way.

Katie always gets some good shots (check it)

I eventually got my heart rate sorted out and got a second wind of sorts but of course it was only in time for the bell lap.  It appeared like I was ever so slightly closing on a guy who had passed me with 2 to go.  So I made that my goal.  I timed the catch with pro peloton accuracy and caught him in the final turn before the finish straight.  He took it wide and I was able to cut it tighter in the inside and got the jump on him and held it to the line.  Unfortunately I somehow managed to not notice that there were also two more guys right in front of him that beat me by maybe a few bike lengths.  I think if I had realized that and pushed a bit harder earlier in the last lap I might have been able to make 3 passes last lap and gotten 10th instead of 12th in the combined field.

I was 5th in the u40 field two places better than race predictor had me.  Its been a pretty successful run of CX this month but also pretty tiring.  8 races in the last 12 days.  I only did 7 all of last year.  I've lowered my points from 491 to 403 and it's looking like I might actually need to consider a Cat 3 upgrade by the end of this year.  BIKES!

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