Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Spring Mount CX Race Report

Last Sunday I traveled about a half hour southwest to Upper Salford Park. Philly Ciclismo hosted their 5th annual cyclocross event. It was a COLD (high 30's, low 40's) windy raw day, but nothing new to cyclocross. We had gotten some rain the few days prior and I expected a similar course to last year. Fun with some good mud! Well it was fun and there was some mud but overall it wasn't "my type" of course. There were a bunch of power sections and few turns...nothing too technical.

Started the day with a couple of warm up laps, then cheered on Greg, Jeremy and the rest of the team in the CAT4 race. Greg had a huge lead only to be caught on the last lap. He had a great finish in 2nd. Jeremy had another good ride in 7th.

My race (the Elite Masters 2/3/4) started at 12:15. Thanks to Saris / Cycleops for the trainer tent that kept my legs moving and kept me warm. I wasn't too crazy about the start, it was on loose gravel and I wasn't sure if I would get a call up. Luckily I did by virtue of a good race at Town Hall Cross...started outside the second row.
Pinky's first race!
I started off in the top 15 and worked my way past some riders. The mud and turn sections were great places to make passes and gain some time back on the leaders. By the end of the first lap I was up to 4th. Being relatively new to this class, I didn't know all of the competition, but I knew there were a few fast guys that had issues on the first lap that were breathing down my neck! I got locked in a good battle with Brad Ford (ahead of me in the picture below). With the wind blowing you had to be in the draft if you were with someone...and Brad was smart to take my lead and he stuck with me for the first couple of laps. I could see the lead guys up ahead, but just didn't have what I needed to get back up there.
After the first sand section there was a fast gravel path leading into some mud. You can see the "pink streak" below!

Once I got free from Brad I could tell that one guy was slowly making up time. With two to go he passed me. After 4 laps without anyone to block the wind I was shot, but I tried to hang on. I rode the back section well and set up a pass on the last lap through the tight stuff. I blew the next sand section and he got enough of a gap that I wouldn't be able to close it before we hit the line. I ended up fifth out of a field of about 45, so considering the competition I am very happy with the race. Missed bringing home some cash by one position, but hey I don't do it for the money that's for sure!
I rushed out of there and switched to coaching mode. It was Autumn's second to last soccer game. It's awesome to see the progress the team has made this year and they had a great game...scoring a bunch of goals and winning (although we don't really keep score)!!

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