Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pilarcitos BASP #2 at the stick

Date: 10/22/06
Course: Fairly flat, 3 / double barrier sections, some sand and a good amount of pavement.
Category: Elite A / 1 Hour
Field: 49
Teammate: None
Place: 22nd
Pictures: http://larryrosa.com/cccx2/

I went into this race hoping to do better than the last 2 events. I had a good idea what the course would be like and it was more or less how I had hoped it would be. It was similar to the 2nd round last year, which ran us down the main pavement, onto a straight for the finish and into a tight hairpin. The dirt portions were much less bumpy than I remembered and to make things fun they threw in a very technical sandy right/ left that went into a short but steep run up.

I made sure to post up at the start and get a good starting spot, which I managed to do (2nd row about in the middle) the whistle blows and we’re off. I am not sure where my head was at, but it took me a few try’s to get into the pedal and I slipped back a lot farther than I wanted to. Oh well, I focused on being smooth and trying to find my groove and ratchet the efforts up lap by lap. After the first lap I came around and my Dad counted me in 20th. O.k. not to bad. I was determined to stick to the plan of: 1. No crashing, 2. Not go a lap down. The top 3 who lapped me at Hellyer were in attendance and if I could stay on the lead lap regardless of placing, that alone would be a solid improvement.

So around the 3rd lap I start to get passed by some guys, Mack fly's by, and I tried to latch on but I felt like crap. I proceeded to trudge along but I couldn’t really wind it up. I was finally starting to find my lines around the course but I didn’t feel like I was able to open it up at all. A few more laps go by and a few more guys go by. Here and there others were dropping there chains and I just maintained the best pace I could manage and hoped that that old blocked up feeling would dissipate and the light switch would flip to “on”. I continue to catch and pass a few guys and visa versa. At this point I didn’t care what place I was in. I could see a group of guys up ahead and I was slowly reeling them in. I finally catch up to Aaron B. He and I start picking it up a little. Excellent! I was happy to actually race with someone instead of doing laps solo.

Somewhere along the way we caught Jim, I think he dropped his chain and the 3 of us rode together for a bit. Something again happened to Jim, dropped chain? and it was just Aaron and I trading pulls from there. I was looking to see if we were in danger of being lapped and it seemed like we might make it with 4 laps to go. I did however notice that Jesse was closing on us and I knew from the past CCCX final last year that unless Aaron and I stepped it up he would catch us. Well, on the back section on the last barrier Jesse throws down a smart run-pass and gets in front of us both. I was behind Aaron and had hoped he would latch on to Jesse but I think we both were a bit hammered and he got away going into the last lap. One final look around and I could not see any sign of the leaders and it seemed as if we might indeed stay on the lead lap! Aaron got a small gap on me coming off the dirt onto the pavement for the last time and I chased to get back on his wheel. I was fired up at the thought of a sprint finish in a CX race! I got close enough to finish in the same time but I couldn’t come around him as I almost threw up once across the finish line! Well that hasn’t happened in a while…

Sweet, no crashing, and no going down a lap. It was a hard fought 22nd (gasp) place and I enjoyed racing with Aaron, Jim, and Jesse. It made the event feel like a race instead of a TT. Did I mention it was hot! The water feed from my Dad really helped, and the cheers and jeers from the peanut gallery was awesome, thanks!

Well.. up next, the new race in Fairfax and if things work out I’ll roll down to Surf City as well.

Oh, and if you didn’t know….Cross rules



Anonymous Jim said...

Glad some one is providing race coverage for the B+ / A- race category. :)

I got some of that plastic fish netting from the first riser caught in my casette, and the chain woudn't engage properly.

That was a good race. I was telling some people that this year would consist of tough battles for 23rd place. Ironically that's exactly where I finished up at, 23rd. Till next time. Peace!


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