Monday, September 28, 2009

2nd Place Finish at Ed Sander Cyclocross!

The annual race in Buckystown, the first race on the Mabra Cyclocross Series calendar, is known for two things...Lilypons Water Gardens and mud. Lots of mud! And this year did not disappoint. I had a front row start with 90 racers and unlike last week got off to a good start (see video link at bottom). I knew it was going to be critical to get through the prologue near the front before we entered the muddy section so I hit it hard at the whistle. The course was very sloppy from all the rain we had the days before and being at the front allowed me to pick appropriate lines without fighting all the other racers. The muddy, technical section made the race separate earlier than usual on this day and fortunately I was there for the selection along with Chip Hoover and Keith Rohr. As soon as we realized we had a small gap on the field we decided to work together and put major time on the rest of the field. After another lap, we knew the race would come down to the three of us, barring any major mistake or mechanical. Chip, an exceptionally strong road racer, put in a hard attack and got a gap on Keith and I that we could not shut down. After a little jockeying for position I made a move to pass Keith on a run-up, made it smoothly through a couple technical areas and powered home for 2nd place and a $50 gift certificate to a fancy restaurant in DC.

Click on link below to watch video of first lap (I am 2nd from right) probably won't be able to watch much without dramamine but just pull through and take a look at how muddy the day was!

Monday, September 21, 2009

3rd Place Finish at Charm City!

Perfect weather and a fast course awaited the racers at Charm City CX Sunday at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore. Over 600 contestants came out to race in the first big event of the year. My category, 3/4 35+, had 113 registered. Unfortunately, the race did not get off to a good start for me. As the whistle blew, I had trouble getting clipped in to my pedals and quickly found myself losing ground to my fellow competitors in the crazy sprint start. I was a little concerned with my chances of getting a podium finish (especially when this race decided to only have a 3 person podium opposed to the usual 5 man) when I realized I was at least 30 riders back as we entered the technical part of the course where the race inevitably becomes single file. I just told myself to ride hard and smart because there was plenty of time left. I picked my moments to dig deep and I was fairly smooth through the obstacles (Charm City CX had a sand pit, a section of stairs, and 2 man-made barriers...all required dismounting and carrying your bike). As the laps went by, 5 in all, I found myself near the front of the race fighting it out with Jonathan Siebold, Keith Rohr, and Pete Jensen. I think we all had our moments were we made the slight mistake rounding a corner to wide or coming into one to fast and we would trade positions. I actually hit the deck twice on the day which cost me valuable time. We all spent time trying to catch Stephen Robinson, the eventual winner from the Squadra Coppi Team. Jonathan put in a hard effort to get a gap on me and I could not get back on his wheel but was able to hold off the others to secure a 3rd Place finish.

A very good start to what will be a fun season!