Sunday, September 21, 2008

Race Report: Chicago Cross Cup #1, Jackson Park

I am so happy to have the first race over. Everything I had was spent out on the course. The Cannondale was great: handling, cornering, everything about it.

The Course. Hats off to XxX Racing. This course was alot of fun and pretty hard. Long too. It was kind of like two separate courses:one- technical, the other wide and twisty. Nice wide start into a wide right hander, left and then into some technical stuff, including a set of double uphill barriers. Then an up, down, up, onto pavement, down and up into a single barrier, down past registration, a single barrier and then into the long sections that doubled back on each other with some twisty, off camber turns back to the start. It was wet when we started but some sections started to dry. There was a little mud, just a little, enough to make things a little slick. After doing 4 practice laps, one at pace, I decided on 38/36 for tire pressure, maybe could have gone lower, but I never washed out.

The Start. Could have been better, but not really my fault. The race flier said that the 30+ would start at 10:00 and we (40+) would start at 10:02, so we would at least have a clear path. Not to be. We lined up 30+ then 40+ then 50+ and the officials then said we'd be starting at the same time. Now, instead of being front row, I'm fourth row behind the 30+. That could have been o.k., except not everyone stayed in their groups, people moved up and I can't really blame them. Riders ready! And the 2008 cross season is underway.

The Race. A little bunching up after the start, but no wasted energy. Get through the first barrier, the uphill 2 barriers and through the technical stuff and I'm passing people. As we get to the longer sections I can see that I am, I don't know, maybe 10, 20 seconds behind a group of 5- there's my goal. I chase them for 2 laps and on the 4th, I think, I finally catch them, but it was a hell of an effort. I did a little body check as in:

Me: Hey legs.
Legs: Dude were kind of busy.
Me: I know but what do you got
Legs: What do you mean?
Me: Can we get around these guys?
Legs: Once and then no more.

So, as we hit the start area, I sprinted around all 5 and held it and that was all I had. Now it was just LT to the end.

Every lap, I could see and hear people. Tammi, Elora alternating between "allez" and "meow." Luca telling me each lap "Catch a rider every lap." Brian Conant, from a different spot each lap. The C4 guys, Baughb, Dan with baby! and some folk I didn't recognize.

Kevin Klug, the leader of the 30+ caught me towards the end of his last lap, my second to last lap and my race was over.

The result. 9th in the 40+. Although the first posted results had me at dead last. We talked to the officials, including some of the guys who were posted ahead of me, but who had finished behind (thanks), and notified the officials that some thing was up and they figured it out. A special thanks for all their efforts. I don't envy their jobs especially with 3 fields scored at the same time. The team did pretty well too, competitive in all categories.

What a great start to what I hope is going to be a great season.


Velosnaps said...

Great job today! I'm working on putting my pictures up. Masters pics will go up tonight. The rest will probably have to wait until tomorrow night.

Ben said...

nice job, cross rules!

Craig said...

'cross it up!!

pablo escobar said...

Jim - thanks for your advice - great picture!


fasterjim said...

Pablo- the picture is courtesy of velosnaps.

Damon said...

The officials effed up my results as well. The didn't score me at all, then put me at 21st where I belonged. Not the greatest result but a result nonetheless. Then today I noticed I wasn't even included in the posted results! Ugh!!! Good job on the 9th place. I'm thinking about catting up to the three's and avoiding some of the problems from yesterday

Chris said...

Congrats! Great way to start the season, fuel for the fire!