Sunday, October 28, 2007

USGPCX #2 - Louisville, KY

Dang that is a lot of dudes in the first corner after the start (Sunday-Elite Men)

Same course, different day. Well, almost the same course. They just changed it up a little bit to add even more turns to it which I never thought was possible. As for the barriers, today it was smoken' fast approach instead of having tight turns right before them like on Saturdays race. That was the only difference along with a beautiful sunny sunny and almost shall I say, warm day.

I can't say that when the race started (with me on the very back row again-yes!!) that I was feeling all the love in the world. Despite that though I actually had a pretty good start and made my way up into the Top 15 pretty quickly before the first set of barriers, which if you read my entry yesterday, was a must. After that things got broken up soooooo fast with little groups remaining. And, unfortunately at times I found just myself in the middle of those tiny groups which pretty much sucked because you have to make a decision to either keep on hammering by yourself to catch the next group and expend lots of energy doing it or let the next group behind pick your sorry buns up and hope they will take you to that next group that you are trying to get to by yourself. Tough decision for a mountain biker to make I tell you. We have ONE pace and ONE pace only and that is redline with a little strategy here and there when the course allows for it in an mtb race. But in cyclocross, while it's definitely a redline sport also, strategy does play a bigger role.

Because I was pinning it hard already trying to bridge to the next group by myself and really not making headway I decide to let the group behind me swoop me up. I only had to soft peddle a few strokes really because they were coming around fast. Soft pedaling for just that little bit allowed me to recover enough to comfortably sit on and get some rest and then use the same strategy that I did yesterday through the technical sections...gun it past em and lose em. Thank heavens that all worked out for me because I would have kicked myself if I had soft pedaled and then been shelled off the back somehow.

Meanwhile, the group ahead continued to shatter and things got pretty mixed up. By the time the end of the race was approaching it was looking like I was going to be left with final sprint for 14th place with another gal which is kind of funny actually because, me??? sprint??, come again?? ugh?, what was that?, how do you call it?. In other words. Good lord I have no idea what I am doing on something like that which I single handily showed everyone that I am a clueless wonder on that subject. I am going to have to learn!! Even with my poor form, poor technique, poor timing, poor everything I got the sprint. Maybe it was my rocking tires from Challenge or my stiff wheels from Reynolds that did the trick there in the end. Nothing like the last 10 seconds of your already redline race coming down to that but in fact it was fun and it passed the time pretty well until we crossed the line.

I had no problems today at all which was nice. In other words, I stayed on the bike. But that almost wasn't the case because at one point the gal in front of me went down on a corner but I had this weird feeling that may happen (based on the fact that I had been drafting her for a while and I knew she was tired, breathing hard, etc.). I therefore dropped back about a bike length through the techy section in anticipation of things that may come...... and thank heavens I did because in under 0.5 seconds, BAM, she was down and sliding across the grass. Whew. Another mishap avoided as I threw on the brakes and made my way slowly around the carnage.

As for the teams tricks and treats for today.....
We decorated are helmets in the name of Halloween coming up on Wednesday. I forgot to get pics of Barb and have one taken of me too with our silly ghost and bat antennas but at least I got this one of Amy's helmet. That head on her helmet is nasty looking.

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