Monday, November 17, 2008

Race Report: Chicago Cross Cup #8, Lansing

All week long the forecasts for Sunday were gloomy: cold, wet, impossible snow. It was cold. Not that wet and we drove through some snow flurries on the drive down. Hats off to South Chicago Wheelman for having a venue where we could change inside and take a shower to warm up in after racing. Better course than last year, but this park is severely limited in potential. No elevation change and very little if any off camber areas. But, everyone races the same course.

The course. Start, left turn, left turn, left turn, right turn... some more turns, barrier, left, right, left, barrier, pavement, left, barrier, 30 ft. then sand, left, right... not that exciting. I rode the sand on my practice laps, but it was deep and long and power sapping. Ho, hum.

The start. Nice starting area. Wide enough. I like the 30 seconds call and then at any point after that, go. Some riders were jumping early at previous races. I had an alright start, not great. I was pretty cold.

The race. So, the start was fine, but then I struggled again with the course. I just couldn't get any kind of flow going. I felt like I was fighting the bike on most of the corners. I'd have a few good ones and then overcook one. I got passed by a few and passed some others. For the whole race I could see a group of 5 just ahead of me and kept telling myself, come on they're right there, you just got to do it. Then I'd over cook a corner and have to brake and jump and consequently lose ground. I rode the sand the first 2 laps, but didn't make it all the way through either time, so I just ran it after that. There didn't seem to be any good lines through it and with the barrier just in front of it, there was very little chance of gathering any speed before getting into it.

The result. Ended up 12th.

Took a shower and watched Carolyn take on the 4s and give a wayward spectator a piece of her mind when he crossed the course in front of her, after he basically t-boned the leading collegiate woman. Watched Lou and others, several of whom were doing their 2nd race of the day, in the 1s. Jack and Cliff in the 4as. I think I had more fun watching those races then racing my own.

Next Sunday is another venue, another race. We've been hearing good things about this Sunday's course.

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