November 21st and November 27th were two of the most anticipated races in the NJBA CX Cup, mostly because my team helps put them on with Skylands cycling. It's been a very similar course for both races with the only difference being that the barriers were put in different places. It was definitely a power course as there were some turns but extended pedaling sections that really helped open up some gaps.
For race #1 there was 5 people and it went pretty hard from the start with Bill Elliston from Van Dessel killing it off the front and letting the rest of us fight to not get lapped. The race was going well as my teammate BL and I were in 2nd and 3rd with us exchanging the lead where we excelled and with 3 to go he rolled his tubular off the rim and gave up the 2nd place to me. The gaps held and I rolled in for my 3rd cross podium. It was a great finish but I really didn't feel the mojo of the race as it was really hard and looking at the data later it showed how things were off. HR was not elevated like it usually was but I still did ok.
For race #2 it was a larger field as 8 racers lined up and I was almost dead last off the line. I picked my way through the field on the first lap to get as high as 3rd place but that's the best I would see. The guy in 4th and I were going back and forth for a few laps. One of the laps I took a bad line in the dreaded mud pit and lost all momentum. The gap opened that would stick for the remainder of the race. I finished 4th of 8 with a time that was 50 seconds slower than last week in much harder conditions. The data confirms that I was feeling a lot better this week as my HR was where it should be and just had a better time overall feeling the course.
One more weekend to go in the NJBA CX Cup as I'm sitting in 4th and with a little bit of luck and two good races I could be as high as 3rd. That would be pretty cool. Top 5 is no joke but aiming for that podium. We'll have to see what next week brings. The main focus is that I'm going to eat better this week and try to shed some excess Thanksgiving pounds as I feel like a heffer right now. If I feel totally unfulfilled after next weekend there is one more round of CX coming to the area in the form of the HVCX weekend the following weekend which could be fun. That would be the OFFICIAL end of my 2010 racing season and 2011 base would then commence...FINALLY!