Sunday, January 11, 2009

Knoxiecross 1 and 2

Saturday and Sunday was rounds 1 and 2 of the Knoxiecross Cyclocross Series in Knoxville, Tn. It was also the weekend that the weather decided to turn ugly again throwing down rain on Saturday and temperatures around 45 degrees. For Sunday the rain left and it took with it 10 degrees of warmth leaving us with 35 degrees and a whole bunch of mud.
I am doing the first 4 rounds of the 6 race series for training before I say farewell to the short intense stuff for a while and head off to (hopefully) sunny, warm Florida for the 12 Hours of Santos on Feb 21.
Meanwhile, back to Saturday and the ccccold rain. I wasn't looking to forward to it but after riding my trainer to warm-up for a bit, I decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and get wet. The initial shock of that first cold blast of water and mud up my asscrack gave way to the reality that it wasn't really that bad once you got used to it. The course was total slop and reminded me of some of the images I have seen of cross races from Europe. It was ankle deep in places.

photo credit: Dave Holmes

I got a decent start and was doing well. The climbs were really slick in places making it hard to get anywhere. There was one climb that led up to the finish that was so deep in places that it would stop you cold if you didn't have enough momentum to get through it.

Photo courtesy of Knoxvillecycling.

I got some crap in my eyes mid-race and lost about 3 or 4 spots until I got it all sorted out. I ended up 8th for the day and really satisfied with the whole thing.

Got mud? (Somebody needs a WARM bath.)

Sunday was a new day and the rain was gone. The mud wasn't however and the temperature tanked overnight and it was cold. I hopped on my trainer again to warm up for about 30 minutes and then went out to ride a lap with a friend of mine - Mike Mefford. Mike's a really strong rider and won the day before, there really wasn't a reason he shouldn't do it again (except a flat tire, he ended up second. Still a very nice finish). The course was backwards this time and that meant no place to rest and lots more climbing that the day before. It was going to be tough.

At the start, I followed Mike into the first turn with I don't know how many behind us maybe 20-25). I looked at the first turn before the race and it made me a little nervous. Kinda downhill into a really sloppy turn followed by another sloppy dip and then open course. It worked out fine though and I stayed on Mike's wheel as long as I could. A few racers got by me and there was some trading places over the next lap or so. The pace we made left everyone else so all I had to worry about were the guys in front of me. I was really suffering on the long, mushy climbs but I figured everyone else was too. Going into the last lap, I thought I was alone but looked over in a turn to see two guys gaining on me. I put in a really hard effort on the first climb I came to expecting to open up a gap. I looked back - Damn! Still there. Next climb, another hard effort and that lost one guy but the other was still there. With 1/4 lap to go, I was really feeling the redline effort I just put out and was thinking I might get passed. The final 300 yds was pavement and when I hit that, I downshifted a few gears and hit it hard (as I could). I looked back just before the line and he wasn't pushing so I sat up and soft-pedaled the final 50 feet.

It was fun. I ended up 5th.

1 comment:


Good job dude. So Mefford is STILL in CX4??? Wow!!!!

Can you say SANDBAGGER??

I saw that Alex moved up to CX3's and finished well....