Today's race was at the Central Park of Morris at the old Greystone psychiatric center. It was a great venue and a really fun course. It was also one of the bumpiest courses I've encountered. The straightaways were murderous as the bumps just stole the momentum from the legs and made it hard to close gaps.
Anyway here's how the race went. It was a HUGE field...5 - yep - 5 of us toed the line. It was nice being able to pick whichever spot you wanted to take in the front row ;-) So we went off hot and my teammate BL took the lead with me followed by Troy, Martin, and Nick. BL and I were riding well together and Troy was right with us for most of the 1st lap. Towards the end Troy passed myself and BL and started to make us hurt. BL took a barrier funny and I passed while he was getting himself back together and I opened up a gap while chasing Troy. Troy was riding so smooth and fast that his gap was just opening more and more. That would go on the entire race.
So now it was the race between BL and I. I was riding well and taking the corners hard but I started to make mistakes. Low pedals caused me to slide out a bunch and happened too many times. I lost a bunch of ground. So I kept BL behind me for a few laps but he was rapidly approaching. Part of the other excuse was that my bike was shifting like craaaaaaaap. The one gear that I really needed to use was not there. It kept ghost shifting like mad which really bugged me. I wasn't going to be very competitive like that and unfortunately it went like that the rest of the race.
So BL passed me on lap 5 or so and we kept it together for a few laps exchanging the lead. He opened a gap on the road on a later lap and I chased hard to get back to his wheel. Almost flat out I was riding into a hard left hander when I tried to brake hard and late and totally ate it. Instantly I was on my side wondering what happened. I jumped up and the bike was ok but that was all I needed to lose contact. BL was riding really well and it was pretty much over by that point.
I looked ahead and Troy was killing it followed by a big gap to BL, then a big gap to me, then a big gap to Martin, and by this point we were catching up to lap Nick. So I figured at this point I was into a hard training race and just put down what I could and finished up a fairly solid race. I could have done without the mistakes and the ghost shifting but what can you do.
I finished 3rd of 5 and 30+ seconds behind BL and he was letting off the gas to save up for racing tomorrow. The good thing was that they paid 5 deep and there were only 5 of us so we all got paid. $40 bucks plus some nice swag was great. This wasn't including the $1 that I picked up from between the barriers...thanks Art! So all in all it was a pretty good day - especially the GIANT calzone I got for dinner on the way home. Next up SCCX #1 next Sunday. I want to put some hurting on this one!