Monday, December 1, 2008

snowcross 2008, first edition

Good thing Marty took this photo, 'cause it only comes along every decade or so.

hey kids:

well, we finally had some weather for a cross race, and it was pretty rad.

day one was back down at Chatfield reservoir, but the snow, ice, and mud definitely gave the race a different tone than last time we were there. The race still went through the singletrack in the woods and was basically a reverse of the first race, and it was righteous.

1st off: Big props to Bob Prieto who sprinted back to his car at the 11th hour and hosed down my bike with a custom anti-freeze solution at the start line. it made all the difference over the next 45 minutes, and i plowed through the wet and sand.

The gun went off and i spun the legs up to cruising speed on the double-track straight. the 5280 punx were out in force, and one of 'em squirted by me for the lead. i took his wheel and caught my breath, then came back around him for the 1st hard right into the woods and singletrack. I decided to take it easy and scope the conditions, and i could feel the pack backing up behind me. Anthony from Rockymounts had my back, though, and i concentrated on the open trail ahead of me. As we came out of the singletrack and into the start/finish, i could see a few chasers with me. chiefly, dean haas from 5280 was stuck to my wheel like glue. we went through the barriers neck and neck, then i gapped him on the road heading back into the singletrack.

leading through the barriers.

the second time around, i definitely turned on the gas in the woods. dean and i gapped whoever else was back there, and we got down to business. for some reason, i could put time into him, but never shake him off. So it went for 3 or 4 more laps--me riding on the front and him dangling.

The singletrack was slippery, but easy to see in the snow.

heading into the woods on the last lap, i started to contemplate the reality that i might be in a position to duke it out for the win. i started to think about where to push it and how i would make my play after the singletrack. Suddenly, dean was nowhere to be seen. i looked over my shoulder and tried to spot him, but he wasn't back there. i instantly kicked it into overdrive and torched through the woods at full tilt, hoping to maintain some sort of gap. I kept looking back, and saw nothing but empty trail. i knew the win was in sight... BAM! i crack into a root and feel the front tire fold in. maybe i should be thinking about finishing the lap, then worry about whats next. i re-focus on the task at hand and get through the last set of barriers and out into the open start/finish area. a quick glance confirms that i am solo, and i cruise home to my first win in about 15 years.

it turns out dean blew a corner and tree-d himself on that last lap, but he still hung on for second.

sunday was an absolute whiteout. leaving longmont, marty and i had no idea the snowstorm that was settled directly over the venue in morrison. we pull up to find a full-blown winter race going on, and i send marty out immediately to find Bob and his magic potion. i get suited up and everyone is telling me how icy and slippery the course is. good thing i have a brand new set of studded tires at home. dammit! anyway, i know that the key to the race is the holeshot, and my legs are feeling up to the task... although there is some residual heaviness from yesterdays effort.

yours truly followed by a bantam-weight going into turn 1

The sand-pit run was fast and curvy

yours truly doing the frozen sand two-step. Photo from Johnny Bevans.

the downhills carried a high pucker-factor

i get a front row call up, and the gun goes off. i lead out the field going into the first turn, and get my first look at the trail. it is definitely snowpacked and slippery, but i am doing pretty well on my michelin mud tires. dean is right on my tail, and i know its gonna be a struggle to keep him at bay. i decide its now or never, and go full gas on the first lap blindly into the snowstorm i do manage to hold him off for a lap, even as i lose any gap i have by crashing. starting lap two dean comes by like a freight train and easily puts 45 seconds into me as i reach deep, but find not too much.

i ease up and the gap has formed. i don't see anyone behind me, and know that the race is ahead. lap 3 and i decide it's time to go for broke. The harder i charge, though, the more i go down. it's just not a course that you can will yourself to go faster. i try to stay smooth, and finish strong, but there is no catching dean. his legs must recover faster than mine, but i hold on for a second place and 1st overall in the red rocks velo series.

of note as well, Bob went big and raced twice, Grady podiumed in the 35+4, Kilmoyer took 6th, and Susan Prieto used her Moab-honed skills to take 7th up against the likes of Amy Dombrowski and Karen Hogan.

Bob "my bike don't freeze" Prieto rockin double races in the snow.

Hollywood Harwood on his way to a hard-fought 7th

Chad "i have nerve-less shins" Elmendorf charging for 13th

also, props to the red rocks guys for putting on a really great couple of races--great courses and good prizes really make for a great series. and, it's not the same old song and dance as the normal boulder county courses, so that's cool.

and last but definitely not least, many many thanks to Marty. She handled my pit duties both days and took the wonderful photo's you see here, and truly is a rockstar... even if she won't admit it.

who's ready to rock it at states?

1 comment:

DaveH said...

What a sweet win in true CX conditions on Saturday!