Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"B" is for Butt-Kicked in Richmond


Photo courtesy of KD - www.demoncats.com

Racing Bs kicked my butt.

Finally kicked off the VA cross race series with the Festival of Cross in Richmond. Shawn and I traveled up 64 both days. The weather was nice - not your typical cross weather - sunny in the 70s.
Chimborazo was Saturday's race site. They changed the course from last year. Gone is the singletrack sections (both the downhill and tighter flat section) and they removed the road-section hill climb after the stair run-up. They added a fast paved downhill that continued to cobbles before hitting a tight turn onto grass. Also added were a few more turns on the bottom section around the new dog park. The top section had the spiral section removed and ran clockwise vs. counter clockwise last year. Also, curb ramps were designed in the course. If there wasn't a sidewalk ramp installed, there was a makeshift one for those like me that can't hop a curb.

As far as the race, this was my first race in the Bs. Saw familiar CAT 3/4 faces from the road races and from guys that moved up from Cs last year. Ended up getting to the line late and had a last row start. It wasn't too bad as it gave me a chance to line up next to a hottie Pro - Sarah Caravella (Tibco Cycling). I asked how she did in the women's race - "Oh, I didn't race - I wanted to sleep in." Must be nice to be a pro. The race started in a tight section on the top of the course. It was hard to try to move up without causing an accident. I did touch Sarah's wheel on one of the turns. Not Pro. With 30 people in front of me I knew my chances of a decent finish were gone even before the first lap. I managed to pick off some riders as the race went on. I caught up to a Coppi guy in front of me 1/2 thru the race. It ended up being Ken Woodrow who kicked my butt when I raced against him at Trashmore for the Cs championship. I clung on his wheel for about 2 laps. He was fading and I passed him when he was getting his B bike in the pit. About 1/2 lap later he stormed by me. I again became a wheelsucker. I was feeling good about myself for hanging with Ken. Last year he dropped me after 2 laps at Trashmore to pick up a 2nd place medal (vs. my 5th). As the bell for the last lap sounded, I was still on his wheel and decided to make my move at the bottom section. I caught him and passed him on the stairs. I got clipped in and managed to sprint to the line for a 21 spot.
(As the results were posted - I noticed Ken did the Master's race already that morning and I'm sure he was dead from by the time our race started.)

Packed up and headed back up to Richmond on Sunday for the Bryan Park race. I liked this course last year and they kept the design pretty much the same from last year. All big-ring. Once again, I took that one extra warmup lap and ended up in the back row again at the start. The field was bigger than Saturday's race with about 45 starters. The start was a dust bowl after we got off the road section. I had a hard time seeing thru all the dust and dirt. As we got into the grass section, it was a cluster of bikes going thru the turns. The sharp uphill turn took about 3 riders down and I was stuck behind it as I watch the lead gap hit the barriers and drop into the singletrack section in the woods. Any expectations of a decent finish were over. There was nothing too exciting for me on the race. I ended up talking with a guy from Philly who was on a sweet Moots. I came across his blog and post on Roadbikereview.com. I saw his Moots and Trek kit and just assumed it was him. He thought it was cool that somebody recognized him from his blog. See Vaughn's race report. I was in no-man's land for this entire race. No group to ride with and didn't have the legs to try to bridge up to one. I was going backwards as Moots, Chris Scales (JRVS), teammate Shawn, Creed and others rode away. I did try to keep Andrew Alli (Carytown) off. Granted, this was his first cross race but he has a mean sprint and a big engine on the road/track. I watched him remount wrong one time after the barriers and I think it took the wind out of his sails for awhile as he stopped and rested on his bars for a second (ouch). I made some futile attempts to bring back Scales and Vaughn but it wasn't going to happen. My legs and back were feeling it from Saturday's race. I did try to make the most of my photo ops with Kevin Dillard during the race. The race pics of the weekend should be up soon on his site - www.demoncats.com.
On the way home, we made our mandatory stop at Pierce's BBQ. Nothing like some good BBQ after a weekend of races.

Congrats to the 757 cx gang that traveled to Richmond too. Bill Gilmer 1st 45+ Saturday before driving north to Ironcross, Jon Nisbet picked up a 2nd in B on Sunday, Superdork top 10 on Saturday and Jeff Craddock took two top 5s in the Cs and a 2nd overall in the omnium in his first ever cross races.

1 comment:

cyclochris said...

Don't fret. Still sounds like you had fun. Wish I could have raced both, but I heeded the call of Ironcross.