This weekend was the first round of CX races in the front range. We kicked it off bright and early Saturday morning with our junior racer, Nick, debuting in his first race. The Junior 8-9 division was a tough group of little competitors. You wouldn't believe the determination they had on their faces. Nick fought hard the entire lap and was smiling and giving it his all. When he finished he was ready for more!
Carl was next up in the 45+ category. Here's his report.
I finally 'catted up' to 45+ now, so have another option on race day. Today's schedule worked better for me to enter this category, so I was eager to see how it would go. I got an okay start, but not explosive, and was able to settle in to about 10th place. I slowly worked my way up through the race to as high as 5th.
With 2 laps to go, I was in 6th place, about 30' behind 5th and gaining, with 4th and 3rd another 50' ahead. I thought I had a shot to podium so really dug in. Unfortunately, I overcooked a corner and hooked a post holding the course tape. As I struggled to free myself, 2 guys got past me.
Unfortunately, I was pretty cooked at that point and wasn't able to gain back any ground. Still, I was plenty happy to roll in 8th in my first cx race of the year! It was a good confidence builder, since I was able to stay competitive the whole race and still had power. There's a ways to go on the conditioning front, but it's only September!
Kristal finished out the day in the Women's Open. "As usual, it was a great group of women with a few pros, local hot shots and the rest of us. I felt good in a leg/lung burning sort of way. The race went as I had hoped. I was able to hang with the front part of the group for about 1/2 the race and then faded. I know that endurance will come during the later part of the season. Finished 8th on the day. All in all a good first effort.
Day 2 played out much the same way, early departure from the house to make Nick's 8:15am start time. In our opinion the course was tougher than Sat. with a few more features he had to deal with. True to his nature, Nick was champ. He had to haul his heavy little bike up stairs, over 2 sets of barriers and rocket through twisty sand, dirt and grass. Needless to say, we are really proud of him. He finished 4th in his category, one better than Sat, had fun and seems amped to do it again!
Plus, our good friend Harold handed down one of his son's cx bike, so Nick will have a real cx bike for future races!
Today I entered my usual 35+ Open category, which is typically one of the most competitive of the day. True to form, lots of big guns showed up. I took my place in the staging area, wondering how the body would respond to day 2. I felt okay at the start, hanging with the lead group through the first part of the lap, but when the moves started to go, it was apparent I had nothing. My legs just wouldn't respond and I felt dead in general.
I ended up finishing dead last in the category, which was pretty tough to swallow. But, if yesterday's race was a good confidence builder, then today's race is a great reminder that I still have a lot of work to do before the end of the season. Luckily, it's still early!
For Kristal, it was similar to Sat. "I had another good test of the legs and fitness, definitely felt Saturday's effort but was generally happy. The course was fun with lots of twisty sections. Could have handled the technical areas better but I'm working through the kinks. My favorite part was get reacquainted with our cycling family. It was great to catch up with old friends. I'm looking forward to a great season."