Sunday, October 04, 2009

Planet Bike - Orono CX

My first Cyclocross race of the year is in the bag! I finished 37th out of 66 riders, which percentile wise is my best finish ever! It was also my first race as an official and proud member of the Crossniacs team, complete with my sweet new black and blue kit with the Crossniacs lion on it.

It was a fantastic course, really a CX exhibition course. You started on a nice wide gravel loop, then fast down a twisting grass shoot, then onto blacktop, then through a sand pit, then double barriers, then really uneven and off camber grass, then a straight sprint through grass and dirt, followed by another twisty grass bit and capped off with a barrier at the base of a hill that required a nice run up after.

That pretty much sums up what Cyclocross is! The only thing missing was mud/snow. They also kept the course nice and wide open, with no sections that could be really be called single track, which I liked.

As for my race, I really used my new tires to their full advantage and bit in hard. I started a bit back in the pack, so I had fun clawing my way up the ranks as the race wore on. It was painful, but the course rolled so nice and was so open I was able to build a very nice rhythm that served me well. The race ended with one extra loop around the starting gravel loop (around a soccer field) and I was totally burnt up, but then I heard L. shouting at me followed by crunching gravel in my ear. So I floored it again. I managed to pass one rider in red that I didn't think I could have caught before the rider chasing me cut me off real close on the final turn and was gone. Oh well, gain one loose one! I learned something about tactics too I think. I just about died after the finish line though, that last sprint was killer.

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