After having a few hours to finally let the race from today sink in I may actually be able to describe what happened. First thing was I didn't get as much of a warm up as I would have liked. I was a little too casual about this race and well I didn't really care what happened. So I nonchalantly went about warming up and getting to the line and all that good stuff. So not only was I cold on the line but I didn't get a good starting position. I chose my spot - well pretty closely to the back of the field. There's actually a pic that shows 9 people behind me in a field of 40. Not a good way to start.
I felt ok off the line but couldn't put down enough to get out of my own way, or others. My start killed me as I was caught in the slog behind the others just trying to navigate the 7 or so hard turns after the first climb. This REALLY slowed me down. Problem #3 was that I didn't get a chance to preride the course. So I didn't know where the good lines were. I tried lines but they were abominable. I had to put many a foot down just to try and correct my errors. After maybe 3 laps I got a good feel and settled in. Through two more I was gaining momentum and then the last lap came and I gave it all I had. It was a little too late though. I felt I rode well but could have rode much better.
Problem #4 came when I didn't have practice with the runup and wasn't sure how to shoulder as well as to downshift before the run up so I could ride easily from the top which didn't happen. Of the field which was somewhere between 31 and 40, I finished 18th. Not bad for my first true CX race. I did one in 2007 but it was on my MTB and wasn't really a true effort. This was more true to form and a really fun but tricky course to ride. I see that there's a whole lot more in the tank for this CX stuff with a little more practice and could be a sweet way to stay in shape for the fall. I'll be back for more. In two weeks there's a possibility for two CX races in one weekend. Let's see how I feel by then but they could be in the cards.