We had over 5 inches of snow on Wed/Thu so there was some moisture to deal with as the snow melted on Friday. Saturday had some mud, but Sunday was mostly dry.
I've been training pretty hard and took two days off before the weekend. This left me a little flat on Saturday and the result showed it. I decided to race these two races as 35+ instead of 45+. The level of competition in 45+ is solid, but 35+ is a couple notches up and probably deeper. The field was stacked as any 35+ guys wanting to ride Worlds avoided the UCI race.
The short story was that I was not ready to be as aggressive as necessary off the start and ended up way back after the first 2 turns. I also had some trouble with mud buildup on my shoes and a couple slow remounts on the first lap put me even further back. I was way off the front of the race, and I just tried to get into a hard rhythm and hope to move up over the course of the race. I felt like I was working hard enough, but I didn't seem to be making too much progress towards the front. I guess I picked off a few guys here and there because I eventually made it up to 10th by the end. Not too bad, but I couldn't help but think I should have done better.
|The big sand pit at the Colorado Cross Classic|
Sunday was better. It was basically the same field with the absence of Brandon Dwight and Russell Stevenson (1st & 2nd from Saturday). There was still plenty of depth int he field though!
I ended up getting a better start, but still got pushed back in the first sand pit because of some poor riding by others. I don't like to complain about other riders, but it just doesn't make any sense to me. Too many guys try to cram into bad lines and create massive congestion. This really doesn't help anyone's cause. It is much better to just stay single-file on the best line. This way everyone stays connected to the leaders and you can move up as gaps start to open in the line. Its just like on the road where everyone rides the gutter in crosswinds instead of forming echelons. I suppose its useless to complain, it will probably never change.
Finally things started to shuffle out and I started moving up. I made my best progress on the hill, but seemed to be leap-frogging riders all the way around. Finally, I was looking good, riding with some good names in the top 6. By the stairs on the last lap I actually made it up to 2nd place's wheel. However, I then proceeded to make a few mistakes, including a fall, which slipped me back to 4th place.
I'm satisfied. Need to keep the nose to the grindstone for the next 2 months and continue to build toward Nationals and Worlds.