Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cross is here.

This weekend the first cyclocross races started in Seattle. Labor Day Cross was the first on the calendar. It was at the North Seatac Park.

I was not sure I was going to race until 8am the day of the race. I woke up my daughter Paulina and off we went. (the boys were too lazy) We got there in plenty of time to get signed up and take a few laps of the course. Muddy and slick and then more mud. One huge run-up that is sand and railroad tie steps.

I always make the same mistake at races, warming up too late and getting to the staging area behind 30 other guys. I was in the third row. Andy Erickson was one row behind me. About 30 seconds from the start a guy just picked his bike up and left the second row. I took his spot.

The start was uphill on moss and gravel covered asphalt. I couldn't get clipped in but sprinted anyways up to about 6th going through the start/finish line. Andy was about 3 wheels behind me.

A few guys crashed before the first set of barriers and I moved up to third, Andy still right behind me. It started to get crowded as we were going through the slower singlespeeders, especially on the long runup where I found myself pausing on each step.

On the next lap Andy disappeared from behind me and reappeared in front of me. I dropped my chain going over a log in the last half lap but didn't lose any places getting it back on and kept chasing him. In all the confusion of singlespeeders and lapped riders I didn't know who was who or what place I was any more. Turns out Andy flatted in the worst spot and had to run out of the woods to the pits ~half a lap away. A Broadmark rider helped him out with a wheel and kept him in the race.

I came in third with an average lap time of just under 8 minutes.

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