Saturday, October 21, 2006

More catching up....Ed Sanders Cross

Ok, so after the first CX races in Michigan I came home and managed to break my bike while training for Iron Cross. I was out hammering around on MTB trails trying to work on my technical skills and I guess I went a bit too hard on the equipment ending up with a broken frame (both down tube and top tube). At least this was an older bike, and not one of the new team bikes. This left me scrambling to borrow a bike for the weekend race up in Maryland. Joe Coddington came to the rescue with his Cannondale that was just my size :)

That Saturday we drove up to Maryland to do the Ed Sander's Cross race on Sunday. Last year I did both the masters and elite race here....but this year I just registered for the elite race....maybe I am getting lazy? Cara was 2nd in her race. The elite field was relatively small at 25 riders.

I had a miserable start and was pretty far back for the fist part of the first lap. I was able to move up but there was 2 riders off the front and one had a significant lead. I ended up riding with 3 other riders chasing....while the rest of the field fell away a bit. At about 1/3 in I didn't think I would ever see the front of the race...but top 5 or even top 3 was possible....things unfolded a bit differently: The lead riders were fading, but it became 2 together at the front, chased by 1, chased by me and one other rider...although all the gaps were closing and it looked like we might have 5 riders together with 2 to go. The the rider in 3rd rolled a tire and we went by him, then the 2 front riders started fading fast as we were working hard to close the gap. All of a sudden we were on them, passing one after he dropped his chain on a run-up, then the other as he completely imploded from his first half race effort. Now I was in the lead with just one other rider.....

We hit the last lap riding tempo, I knew just where I wanted to attack on the back side of the course, and I guess he (Nathan Diebert) figured he could match me and beat me at the finish. I attacked just where I wanted , but he held me in check (especially since I overcooked a turn) and we were together coming into the last part of the course. There was only about 50 meters of pavement between the last loose gravel turn and the I knew my best chance was to lead, go as hard as I could through e last couple of turns and hold on.....which I did. Not often I win a sprint finish, but it was a nice win and an exciting race.

You can see a video of some of the race (including the sprint finish and an interview with me) here:

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006


So we took a weekend off after the last road race trip...then it was baptism by fire for the cross season. We headed up to Michigan for the first UCI races of the season. It rained overnight both days...making for a nice slightly muddy/soft course, but the weather during the racing was great.

Cara was 4th and 5th...while I pretty much got my butt kicked both days. Saturday was extremely the first cx race of the season always is....but 10 hours in the car friday didn't help any either. The field was a bit bigger (about 40) and stronger(some west coast& colorado guys) than expected which put me in over my head for the first race of the season. I got off to my usual mediocre start, but I could never get things going. I developed a side stitch (diaphragm cramp) on the first or second lap and I couldn't get rid of it. I was riding hard, but not really going anywhere...and in pain the whole time. I ended up 17th.....mediocre for sure.

Sunday was a bit better....after my usual start, I actually felt ok.....well, as "OK" as one can feel while trying to ride so hard your guts come out....but I was able to find a nice rythm and move up constantly. The result wasn't much better (15th), but the sensations were.....funny what a difference a day can make.

The drive home was very difficult and we got in about 3am. I cracked about 5 hrs from home and Cara piloted the last half.