23 September 2012

Week #2 - Xilinx CX

This Saturday was Xilinx CX in Longmont. I rode out in the morning with the plan to watch some of my athletes race and get a few laps on the course before the 45+ race at 10:45am.

Got an unexpected call-up on the front row, so today there would be no need to blast through traffic to chase the front of the race. It was a good day for a front-of-the-field start, too. The first part of the course was tricky and narrow and there were lots of opportunities for things to get jammed up. I came off the pavement in 5th or 6th and just followed wheels through the upper portion of the course. By the time we made it to the lower part of the course we had started to gap the rest of the field. Mike Hogan was setting pace with Jeff Hall, David Weber, John Mansell, and probably one or two others. I was riding caboose on this group. Basically, this was a replay of the front of the race last week, minus Rod Yoder and Matt Miller. Coming through the start finish after lap 1 a small gap developed with Jeff Hall and Mike Hogan apparently ready to pull away. I accelerated across the gap and just continued to lay down the power. I think this stretched out our lead and by the end of the lap we had established what appeared to be the front group for the rest of the day. Shortly into the next lap Hogan dropped his chain and Mansell broke his chain in the group behind us. So, things quickly reshuffled and Jeff Hall and I were leading David Weber and Mike Hogan. I never really looked back the rest of the race, I guess I just assumed if we kept pedaling we would hold them off.

Jeff Hall seemed motivated to keep the gap and we traded laps over the remainder of the race. I ended up taking the lead for the last lap and had to start thinking about how to play the end game. We had to deal with a fair amount of lapped rider traffic, which was a little hairy in the technical upper section of the course. We made it through and Hall was still squarely on my wheel as we hit the open part of the course.

The logical assumption was that the race would be won in the last tricky corner before coming on to the pavement for the sprint. I didn't want to leave it to that though. Or, I didn't want Jeff to be fresh when we got there. So as soon as we hit the first big straightaway, I upped the pace. I just kept on the gas hoping to get a small gap and hold it to the end. Somewhere during this section, either the corners, logs,  or lapped traffic, I got that gap. At this point it was a drag race and I made sure the gap held. As I hit the barriers a few hundred meteres from the finish, I had about 6-7 seconds. This was plenty and I went  clean over the barriers and through the last corner to take the W.

17 September 2012

Back to Racing CX!

Got to open the 2012-13 CX Season this past weekend in Boulder at Valmont Bike Park.

Since Boulder is one serious bike racing town, I eased into it by racing the 45+ race. There are tons of fast guys in this town, in all age groups. I knew of Rod Yoder and Mike Hogan in my race. Hogan won MTB Nats this year.

Saturday was a seeding CX TT that I didn't take part in, so I was doomed to a back of the pack start. There were about 40 guys in front of me that I'd have to work through to get to the head of the race. I started fairly relaxed and watched to see how things would go. I moved up a little on the first lap, jumping from group to group as the gaps developed and opportunities presented themselves. On the 2nd lap I started to see what looked like the head of the race and caught the group that made up 3rd through 8th. On the 3rd lap I threw down my fastest lap and reeled in and passed the 2 guys off the front: Yoder and Hogan. As I caught Yoder with 2 to go, he was a little gassed and couldn't hold my wheel when I pushed the pace up the hill. I kept the hammer down and gradually pulled away from him. I was able to keep the rubber side down and rolled in with a comfortable gap of 30 or so seconds.

Here's a write up and some videos of the Prom men and Women at 303cycling.com.

The call-ups for the rest of the races this season are based on USAC rankings. After this race I'll have 3 of the 5 races I need to have a full ranking score. So, it looks like I'll be starting at the back again on Saturday.

(photo credit: Shawn Curry)

07 September 2012

Cyclocross Coaching

Cyclocross season is upon us! You've done the clinic, started doing some skills work, and have pre-registered for the early races. Ideally, you should have started some cyclocross-specific training a month or so ago, but its not too late! The season is long and many of the most important races are 2+ months away.

Give me a call and we'll get to work!