21 September 2010
Hermann 'Cross Under the Water
The Edge…there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. ~Hunter S. Thompson
I'm sure most everyone has heard about the crazy weekend in Hermann by now. Most of the craziness is well documented elsewhere, so I won't repeat it. I'll just share my view of what will probably be one of the shortest cyclocross race ever.
I was lined up in the second row next to Ethan Froese and Andrew Coe, and behind Nate Rice. Our first start was aborted because we barreled full speed through the start/finish area head on into a van driving on the course. On the restart, I got off the line well enough and down the pavement to the first turn. Things got a little hairy through the turn, but I had a good line and came out something like 4th to 6th behind Jon Schottler, Shadd Smith, and Joe Schmalz.
The first half of the course was open straightaways and the stairs. Things held the same until we hit the second half of the course that was all turns. I think I moved up a spot or two through a little sand pit. Shortly thereafter, Jon fell and this shuffled things up so that Joe, Shadd & I were sitting 1-2-3. By now it had started to rain hard and the corners were super slick. A little further on Joe slid out on a corner, and after the shuffle Tom was leading and I was sitting 2nd.
Tom led through the remainder of the first lap and I accelerated hard once we hit the pavement. The bell was ringing as we came through the start/finish indicating that the officials decided to shorten the race. When we hit the grass again Shadd was on my wheel. At some point before we hit the second half of the course, Jon had made it back to the head of the race and was on my wheel. I made it through a few turns before the pressure from behind made me not get my line quite right and I slid out my front wheel. I managed to get back up and going, but not before I was out of contention. Moving up in the slick corners would have been a tall order. So in the end I just rolled in behind Andrew Coe and Josh Johnson.
I rolled with Challenge Fango Clinchers on Reynolds Attack rims. I would say everything worked great but I really didn't get a chance to get a feel for them and my handling skills are probably a little rusty too.
I wish we were able to race longer (and of course Sunday, too) but that's the way it goes.
Thanks to Jeff Yielding, the town of Hermann, and everyone associated with the race. I'm sure they are wishing things had gone differently too!