Sunday, October 08, 2006

New catagory and a steep learning curve

Race Report: Pilarcitos Super Prestige #1

Date: 10/8/06
Course: Fairly flat, very bumpy with 3 / triple barrier sections, one with a short uphill run after with 1 full lap on the velodrome, did I mention BUMPY.
Category: Elite A / 1 Hour
Field: 36 finishers/ 40+ starters
Teammate: None
Place: 26th

Well this was my second “A” race and it wasn’t any easier than the first. I was lucky to get in some quality training late this week and I felt ok, not great, going into this weekend. Vegas really took a lot out of me the previous week. I got to Hellyer around 10:20 and had to park in another zip code. Bummer. I ran quick down to reg and found Steve. He had a sweet spot next to reg with the Acclerade booth. I went back to the car and loaded up my stuff and schlepped it down to the tent.

I setup my trainer, spun and watched the Masters A for about 20 min. and stretched. Then warmed up on the course for another 20 min. I wish I had got there a bit sooner but I was working on last minute adjustments to the bike and ran a little behind. Not much time to think and we are called to line up. I had a third row start and hoped for a clean jump.

The whistle blows and we’re off. I get crowded from both sides and can’t move so I wait for the holes to open and move up. Things start stringing out but not to fast. I had hopes of holding on and moving up. I was fired up to get onto the velodrome on the first lap. We couldn’t pre-ride the velodrome earlier and I have never ridden on one. Well, I was lucky not to wad it up on the exit, as it was a really sharp turn off the track back onto the pavement and I locked it up a little into the turn getting a little close to the fence! Phew! Won’t do that again….

Beginning the second lap, my Dad told me I was in 17th. Cool the top 20. I was content to keep a high pace and above all ride smooth. Before the pavement leading into the velodrome there was a tricky downhill rutted out turn. I came over the top, around and down, bam! I hit a rock right in the middle of the rut and it plowed my front wheel sideways and me over the bars. OTB! After a 9.5 summersault dismount I remounted and took off after the group of guys that were on my ass, now sprinting away…

Well another objective blown (no crashing), and in a grand fashion too. I knew at this point that I had to just run the fastest pace I could without falling and just finish the race. I figured if I could get in a groove maybe I might pick up a spot or 2. Halfway into it, I was starting to really feel the heat and I was having to pick my battles. It had to be around 80 and dusty as hell. Luckily, my Dad was there and assisting with the water feed. I would drink a bit and dump a big squirt over my back. Quite refreshing!

As the laps winded down, I was feeling a little better and tried to pick up the tempo. With 4 laps to go I was thinking I might not go a lap down this time. Well, lap 3 ok, lap 2, shit….. Mark Noble laps me with 1.5 to go, then one to go, Mike Hernandez gets me. Shortly after, coming up on the pavement section before the velodrome, John Funke gets me… Ugh. Well at least it was 1.5 laps to go instead of 3 to go (ala~ CCCX #1) so an improvement but still a lap down. I think at this point, even with a better start I am a little short on the form, so I have a bit of work to do. Riding smooth and remounting with as few steps possible has been the goal in these early races. I know that if I can be fluid, the speed will come. I am behind where I should be and I’m confident I will improve, it’s just a questions of how long will it take?

After getting such great placing's last year in the B's, it is a little hard right now but I still would rather be racing with the A’s. The venue was good sans the uber bumpy-ness. The velodrome was too cool. I really enjoyed that part.

Special thanks to Dad for the water. That really helped me out. Steve the Acclerade booth was a hit and a great place to post up. It was great to see and talk to all the usual suspects that make cross so cool…I’ll lick my wounds, get in some decent training and come back a little stronger.

I’m up for the challenge…………


Blogger funkdaddy said...

Nick, keep it up! I know catting up to A's can be frustrating, I was a B in '99 and learned what getting lapped was all about the following season. I think it'll come - from here you just start learning and improving those little things that gain you seconds here and there, and believe me, those little things really add up.

Ooh, I feel a blog entry coming the Babble blog over the next day...

Anonymous marian said...

I'd have to say that the "not crashing" goal is one that I fully support.


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