Race Report: Groundhog II
Today I went down to do the much anticiaped T.D.G. I woke up to rain but hey that wasn’t going to stop me. The drive was even pretty short, relatively for a Champaigner. I got there about when Gene and Greg were about to start for Masters and walked some of the course. Greg and Gene rocked it finishing toward the top in the Masters.
After my walk I was freezing, soaked, and running behind. I had to get dressed and bring my “B” bike to the pits (my Schwinn single speed)--Gene made me nervous about flats. I was all set and had about 20 min to try to warm up, mostly sitting in the car with the heater on was the best option.
I lined up for the Open division and saw a few heavy hitters especially Ben, one of the top Cat 1/2 Chi Cross boys, and a couple other good 3’s. Of course I got off to a bad start, guys were actually running for the start and doing better. The course was full of snow that was melting and made crazy thick deep mud but some spots were still frozen and icy. Needless to say this was a very hard race.
I was in maybe 10-12 after the start and I dropped the hammer for the first 1/2 lap, including an over the bar endo down the major hill in the race, but made it up to 3rd. Ben and another guy had got a good start and were a ways up. I payed for this effort for the next lap but stayed in 3rd. The race had been shorted from 10 to 8 laps because of conditions and for the next few laps I felt great. After about lap 6 I started getting tired, it was grueling, and the guy behind me had been breathing down my neck. We also started dealing with lapped traffic, I ended up lapping all but 8 of the guys in the race. We started exchanging 3rd position. Then on the last lap I was trying to lay down a big effort,. came in too hot to a off camber slick corner and hit hard, getting gapped in the process. I tried to close in but ran out of real estate. I think this fall might leave a nice reminder bruise on my ass.
So my first open cross race I ended up 4th. Not too bad, I am pretty happy--though I would have been much more satisfied with 3rd. Of well, at least Im not too hurt, just a little scraped up. Also I didnt break my carbon tubular, sweet. Finally this is my first 3 digit pay out so that is very cool, I wish all races paid this good. Big up to Gene who pulled out 9th in the Open as well. I know its kinda weak but I did sign up for the Classic race after the Open but all out full body shivering told me to get in my car and warm up, so I skipped it.
I know this was a little long but this race really got me cranked up and I cant wait for this season. I felt pretty good in this race but it was a reminder that I need to crank up the training to prepare for these high end efforts. Next up Hillsboro, watch out for the flying streak known as Wildcard!!