Tuesday, November 2, 2010

MAC Series #7 Beacon Cross Race Report

The MAC series is rolling on. Last weekend's New Jersey double header started on Saturday at the Beacon Cross in southern NJ. We were treated to a chilly morning. I headed down with Greg and Marten who were racing the Cat 4 men's race. I had never raced Beacon before, but I had been to Sunset Lake numerous times for triathlons. Southern Jersey is known for its sand and this course was known for a few things...high speeds, the two story Ampitheater of Pain (AoP) and the 90 meter beach section.

I got bundled up and headed out for warmups with Greg and Marten. After the first lap I realized that I did not shift out of my big ring the entire time! There were a couple of technical sand sections with thick sand and of course the AoP and beach sections. The AoP was littered with banners, spectators and it's own announcer that heckled the riders as they gasped for oxygen climbing by him. The course brought back memories of my motocross days picking lines through fast sand corners and staying light on the front end.

Greg and Marten had great races. Greg got a front row call up and Marten was on the other end due to day of entry. Greg made a bid for the lead early but couldn't hold off pressure from behind and finished a hard fought 3rd. Marten found the HOV lane somewhere out there and had an incredible finish on Greg's heels in 4th!

I lined up on the 2nd row, and started in the big ring. It was a long gradual uphill road start so I knew the guys w/ the big legs had an advantage. I was confident in my running skills and hoped to make up time on the AoP and beach sections. The race started off fast and I found myself stuck back in about 15th position....not good on such a fast course.

The course was very wide in some sections and very narrow in others. I got hung up in one bottle neck on a technical uphill section when the guy in front of me got stuck in the tape. Surprisingly I was holding my own (somewhat) on the long flat sections and I was able to make passes on the technical turns. I had some great runs in the beach as well.
(Photo credit to Dennis @ http://www.dennisbike.com/)
Sweet panoramic beach shot courtesy of Marten

With two laps to go I could see that I had made my way into the top 4 and the leaders weren't too far ahead. I put in a good push to see if I could bridge the gap.
(Photo credit to Dennis @ http://www.dennisbike.com/)
Coming into the barriers with two to go I made up some time on the leaders and was not far from their wheels.
(Photo credit to Dennis @ http://www.dennisbike.com/)
I knew a good run through the AoP would put me where I needed to be, but did I have enough to make the pass after I got there? On the bell lap we were this close together, I had bridged the gap!
(Photo credit to Dennis @ http://www.dennisbike.com/)
By this point we were riding clear of the rest of the field. This was the first time this year that I had been this close to a win...and a win in the MAC series and a field of this size was at one point unthinkable. The three riders in front of me have been up front the whole series and I knew two of them were powerful road riders that I wouldn't beat in a sprint. I stayed with them through the beach but they were too strong in the flats and coming into the AoP for the last time they had a gap....too big of a gap.

So I came home a close 4th. My best performance of the year and I was very satisfied with how I rode. Finally felt like my bout of overtraining has worked its way out of my system.

Sunday I headed to round 8, HPCX in Jamesburg NJ. Then off to a soccer game and trick or treating. Sunday report coming up next......

1 comment:

  1. Hey Chris, looking forward to the HPCX report.

    All that training is really paying off now. It was fun watching you move up the field on the run sections, definitely your strong area.