Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fort Yargo CX Race

Our club (GTC) hosted the first cyclocross race of the Georgia Cyclocross Series. It was the first time the venue was going to be used, and the first race hosted by the club. The course was very well planned and included all of the requirements for a good course: pavement, dirt, sand and barriers.

The course started on pavement that started off with a slight uphill grade and then a sharp left led you downhill. The paved section gace way to a wide dirt path that was very bumpy and rattled you after being on the smooth pavement. This part of the course was made through a park campground and was not smooth but did include some grass. At the end of this section you turned 90 degrees left onto pavement and then made a 180 degree right after about 200 yards. This was tricky because the turn was off camber and loose. This section twisted in an "s" fashion and eventually led to another paved section (up the previous downhill) and then a right into a wooded area, another right around a mini golf course, apst the pits and the dismount through the sand playground, then a gravel road to another 90 degree loose turn, the double barrier dismount and then back to the starting area.

It was a long course and the hill was climbed 6 or 8 times in my race. Being the first race, you never know who will show up and how well they are prepared. Perry who was not a front runner last year, had trained through mountain biking to get ready for CX. He showed that it payed off by gaining 20 seconds and holding off everyone to the finish.

I was surprised on how well I felt since my training was minimal all summer and I had just finished a 3 week intense period of intervals and speed work. I was able to go after Perry after the gap was made, but could never catch him, instead riding in no man's land between him and the chase group. I ended up second, but I lost time every lap to a charging chase group and the long uphill section.

I was happy with second place and I was awarded a superb blown glass trophy! More so, I was surprised to have ridden so well and had a benchmark to work with. My club also did well by winning the masters 45+.

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