Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cross Nationals SS Race

Well I headed to KC for the weekend of Nationals. Rolled into town Friday evening. Got up early Saturday and got to the race site before sunrise. I had followed someone reporting on and it was muddy Friday, but Saturday morning the course was soft but not muddy. I got in an hour of pre-riding. I did stop and talk to a few friends along the way but I did get in 7 laps. I was trying to decide if the 32/15 gearing was going to work or not on Sunday. It was a lot of climbing, but I figured the high winds on Saturday would help dry out the course so I stayed with that gearing. Also figured if I went to a 16 I would just go slower and it would still hurt climbing.

So I got changed after riding and settled in for a full day of spectating. With beer, BBQ grill, and shark suits. We had some other Big Sharks in the races through the day. Nate and Josh were first up in the 30-34 Masters, or as I see it the former pros race. Nate had a good race for 5, 6, and 7 and ended up 7th. Just off the podium. The final race of the day featured Claw. It was a total team effort to cheer him on.

I finally made Velonews!!!! Not in the way most would expect, but I'm made the big time. After that race I went home.

Sunday I got there early again for a 8AM start. Made a few laps on the course first and crashed once. At the start I was outside the second row. After Saturday's race and the wrecks that occurred I decided I wanted to be outside for the first few turns. Right off the start it was a fast as hell race. It was full sprint to turn one. I lost a couple spots, the first of many. Of course there was a crash and I avoided that. Then after that about 20 sec later there was another crash in front of me. Avoided that. Then we started the climb. It was a freight train of guys passing me. Finally made it to the top of the hill and started back down. Around the left hander at the tree I tried to accelerate out of the corner around a rider. It crashed solo. Even got road rash from the mud. Got up and got going again after losing more spots. From there I pretty much settled into the hurt locker and got passed by a few more guys near the end of lap one. Then from there I started to pick a few guys off. The soft ground and relative tall gear I had made me hurt for over half the course since there was so much climbing. At one point the Latern Rouge folks at the top of the course were playing Rocky I theme and that song's beat matched my cadence well climbing. So I was climbing, with the eye of a tiger. It was cool. On the second lap I managed to ride the short hill after the run up. I got some props from the fans for that. It was a good time to ride the race and have some people yelling out for me but I was in no shape for racing.

I rolled home 1 lap down in 40th out of 70 starters. I really wanted to stay on the lead lap but it just wasn't in the cards for me.

After my race I settled in for another full day of shark suits and beer drinking. Watching the pros go off was great and we tried to put in a good fan effort for all the locals out there in the elite race. In the end the Shark fans made,,,, and countless other photo websites. Not to shabby for a bunch of hack riders like us.

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