Sunday, October 21, 2007
Conyers International Horse Park Cyclocross Race
A fantastic day to race! No rain, but it was chilly at the start which gave way to blue skies. The 35/45 masters race had around 40 racers and some tough guys were there. Jay Wansley who won the Birmingham race was there as well as Myogenesis rider Brady Rogers who is always tough, Jon Dahlman who I battled in the single speed championships, Nate Zukas who now 35 was racing here instead of his usual A category starts, and a handful of GTC racers including Theron Collucci and Jeff Welp who are very strong.
The course was very nice. No pavement but the start/finish was flat and fast grass. After the start there was a 90 turn into a set of double barriers and another fast grass section that led to another set of barriers. Across some more grass and up a steep dirt embankment, into the woods and up a log-forced dismount hill which has a sand surface. More woods and then a 1 minute hill that got more painful each lap. More woods and a slight respite down a knarly downhill run, into a series of grass s-turns, a few grass hills and then a 180 turn onto the run into the finish. I guess laps were around 6 minutes.
The race started fast and I tried to get the hole shot but soon Nate went ahead and I sped up on his wheel. We had a gap and were joined by Jay and together they battled each other long enough to gap me by about 10 seconds. I tried to close it down but I never got within 5 seconds. They were very strong and made no mistakes. In fact, Nate was incredibly smooth through everything and I tried to follow his lines at speed which was tough.
The end was exciting since I had closed to about 5 seconds going into the last 180 turn and they looked back wondering whether to position for the sprint. I was hoping they would begin messing around so I could catch them, but they are too smart and went ahead with the sprint. In the end it was Jay-Nate-Me.
I am happy with the race since they were obviously better than me today, and since I was sick last weekend, it was a nice result.
This year if I happen to take 3rd I get a Duvel. Second place yields a Chimay (dubble) and if I ever win, I get a Orval or Rochefort (my choice).
This week brings more training and a very tough race next weekend.