Sunday, October 23, 2011

West Point CX Race Recap

Earlier in the week I was going to preregister for the race and I logged into Bikereg and found out that the race category I wanted to participate in disappeared. The race itself was still on but no Mens A 1/2/3 category. So I emailed the promoter and they said they cancelled the race as no one signed up. They had no idea that most of the A racers wait until the last minute to sign up. Anyway with some begging they decided to hold the race and I was much happier as I wanted the two hard efforts this weekend. So anyway the race was on and BL and I piled into the hamstermobile and headed up to see what this place was all about. As I waited for BL to arrive at my place I was texted by Weber that it was a mtb course and bring your skills. So with that I was excited and curious at the same point. I figured it was going to be just BL and myself and a few collegiate riders and more A racers showed up and less collegiates showed up.

On the line it was myself, BL, JP, Gavi, and two cadets to our right. So small field and small lap. Off we go and I wasn't sure if my legs would show up after my effort yesterday or not. I hit it hard and find myself getting the holeshot and BL following me followed by the rest following us :D Into a few chicanes I open up a gap on BL who was checking the grippyness of his tires and I just drilled it as the others were falling back. I was getting a gap and I just kept my head down. I didn't know how long it would take till Gavi got around me but I knew at some point he would, unless a leg fell off. So I lead the entire first lap and I hear Gavi sneaking up. Through one of the tight turns with Gavi on my wheel I decide to blow through a taped corner and luckily no tape gets caught but throws me off a bit and opening up a nice line for the rest that are following. BL said he liked the course change ;) 1/4 of the way through lap 2 there's a nice open road section and Gavi attacks. I figured he'd at least hang on me for a few laps and let me blow up but no - he was pedaling hard! So I tried to jump on him and respond but I could fully do it. I tried instead to keep him close through the tight twisty, mtb type sections.

Weber was right, it was a tough, tight course. Hard twisty rocky uphills followed by two sandpits followed by stupid tight lifesucking s-turns. So I kept Gavi close but he was steadily opening a gap. Lap by lap he was opening that gap further but not by as much as I thought he would. He got a little extra distance as I piled it up on a nice loose off camber turn(with the entire Kucharski family cheering me on as I fell), but I got up quickly and calmly got back into a rhythm. It seemed futile to close the gap but there were two dreaded sandpits that I hoped he would falter in - he didn't. Actually towards the end of the race he sat up to hopefully not lap one of the cadets and BL yelled to me the news and I closed down some of the gap but he saw me coming and kept on it lapping the cadet. I finished a minute or two behind Gavi and pretty satisfied with how the race went and especially that I felt good after a hard effort yesterday.

Cross is awesome! 2nd place of the 6 at the line and I got my race fee back! Wohoo! It seems that most of the Bulldogs had a really good day today. Gerilyn, Ted, Mike, Weber, BL, and myself were in attendance and it seemed to really cater to our good mtb skills. Great seeing everyone out there!

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