Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Marty's 2 Day CX Race Report

This past weekend was going to be a nice hellish battle with the conditions I thought. With all the torrential rain pouring down I was excited with the mud battle that would ensue on Saturday and Sunday. Much to my dismay, there was no mud on the course. Well nothing of note really. A few slick corners aren't enough to really help the handlers out there so I was a little disappointed. The course was still very hard with a steep runup and lots more elevation than we've seen this season. So with that in mind I set myself up to do the best I could with the roadie course. Well the best I could considering I had some bad GI issues the night before and the Wed prior I really hurt my ankle during cross practice. Me foot unclipped in the middle of a hard pedal stroke and I proceeded to gouge the skin off of the bone on the inside of my ankle with the crank arm. So much so that if it were the slightest bit deeper I probably would have been in the ER getting stitches. The crank arm then dug into my calf creating some really nice colors due to bruising. So given all that happened prior to this weekend, I was happy just to be riding my bike.

Saturday's race went off hot as I got a call-up in the front row and tried to do the best I could with that. I had been getting poor starts all year so far and this was a bit nicer. That was until we hit the first barriers a few hundred feet after the start and when remounting my pedal wouldn't clip in and I almost repeated how I hurt my ankle in practice. 2 or 3 guys shot by and I had to regain position. The race was steady and fast but around another turn the pedal popped out and a few snuck by again. I chased really hard and got through a few but I never really found the groove of this course. It was good but the runup was so tiring that it really gassed me for the rest of the lap and I had a hard time recovering to punch it hard again. So I was in 10th in no mans land but had a few just ahead that I couldn't close the gap to. I tried but it just wasn't happening. Then on the 2nd to last lap I see Dave Wilson closing from behind. Oh man I wasn't feeling that great and now I had to fend him off. So I put the pedals down for that lap and he closed a bit more. I only had one more lap to keep that gap. It was probably only 5 secs or so. I told myself that on the last climb I would put it ALL down and try to open the gap and keep 10th place. I buried myself and went HARD. It worked. I looked back just before the finish line to see my effort had paid off and I kept my 10th place. I had no idea that Freddy was just ahead and finished 11 seconds ahead of me.

10th was a great finish. I know that had I not had the problems I did before the race and the pedal issues during I could have done a little better but I was satisfied. Pulling off 10th place in that really strong group of 24 was not that shabby.

For Sunday's race I did some late night surgery on my pedal to make sure it would not happen again. It worked. I had a solid start and kept the pace high throughout the race. Since the race was run backwards and there was no runup this time I found the groove much better. I was constantly attacking and riding well. At some point I was in 11th and saw a few fading in the middle laps and put the power down to get away from them. Later on I sat in 9th and saw a train of 3 behind me and wanted to make sure they didn't get close. Plus Tommy and Andrew were just ahead so if they made a mistake I wanted to be right there. I put all I could down and I couldn't close the gap to those ahead enough. I was too patient earlier on or I should have been right with Tommy and Andrew at this point. I did in fact open the gap to those behind me though which kept me satisfied. Sunday's race was a 9th place of 24 again. A much better race for me overall as I found the groove but had the heavy legs from Saturday. Really I'm pretty satisfied with how things went this past weekend. Next up, 6 races in 6 weeks. Time to finish up strong and then the end is in sight!

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