Sorry for the gap between updates, things have been rather busy but we'll try to be more reliable for the rest of the season. October 27 & 28 brought two UCI C2 races to our area: the Colorado CX Classic and the Boulder Cup. These races are always big time and the focus of many local's season. Saturday's race was at the Boulder Res and was the best course we've ever done there (out of at least 20+ races at that venue)! As with last year, a little snow fell in the days before the race, promising we'd have some mud. Boulder Cup was at Valmont Bike Park, which will be hosting CX Nationals in 2014 and was also the best course we've done there out of 5 (the park was just opened last season).
In addition to great racing, we also donated money to the Women's Elite prize purse at both events. Prize purse inequity has been a hot topic the past few years. It is a tough topic since the Women's fields are always much smaller than Men's, so economically it's a challenge to pay out the same amount. On the other hand, the women are working just as hard, and we'd like to see those fields grow. Towards that goal, for both days we donated $20/rider to the prize purse, hoping that would drive more participation. We ended up giving $560 for Sat, and $530 for Sunday (we also paid the 7% cut that goes to the UCI). This gave us many positive mentions the week before as well as on race day, as well as a tent position right at the finish line Sunday!
Finally, this past Sunday, we did the RLW CX race in Golden. This was a low key race, lightly attended because it wasn't close to Boulder, nor was it part of the Cross Cup series.
I raced the 45+ on Sat, and got a 4th row callup. Since this weekend went well last year, I was determined to repeat. When the whistle blew, a gap opened on my left and I fired through it, ending up about 6th wheel off of the pavement. Unfortunately, I got caught up in a crash at the second turn, and lots of riders got past, dropping me into about 30th place. After that, I was able to ride a clean, determined race, catching and passing a number of guys I've never beaten, finally finishing in 18th place. I was really happy with my ride.
Sunday I raced the faster 35+ race. I was a little tired from the previous day's effort, and didn't get a full warmup, but still felt confident. I paid for the short warmup at the start, as I was missing the high end and drifted back on the opening climb. After that, I start to come around, though and set about reeling guys in. Tons of cheers from friends all over the course drove me through the field to finally finished in 45th (out of 60+ riders). I was fine with that since I felt I raced well technically and stayed aggressive.
Last Sunday, I did the 35+ at the RLW CX race. The field was small at about 25 riders, and many of the fast guys were missing, so I smelled opportunity. I drove from my second row start, and was around 7th wheel heading into the singletrack. I was charging and moving up when I overcooked a turn about 4 minutes into the race and crashed hard. A number of guys got passed as I grabbed my bike and remounted. It was soon apparent that my shifting had been affected in the crash, so I pitted just over a lap later. By that point, I was near the back of the field. My pit bike worked flawlessly though, and I was able to start moving forward again. I ended up in 14th, which would normally be a great result for me in 35+, but left feeling disappointed with a sense of wasted opportunity.
Colorado CX Classic and Boulder Cup proved to be a fantastic weekend. I raced in the Elite Women's field and was very excited. Since I'm playing the no UCI points game, the best I was shooting for was 11th place (points were awarded up to 10th). I knew that it was a fast field so I didn't feel this would really be a problem. Saturday's race was super fun, as Carl mentioned, the best course at the Res we've raced. I had a great start and was moving up. I felt comfortable and strong throughout the race. Going into lap 4 (out of 5) I was in 12th and with several girls. I dropped my chain 2x on lap 4 and had a little slo-mo tip over at the end of the sand section causing me to drop into 17th. I would have loved to have finished in that 12th spot, of course, but was so excited about my race, that I was not disappointed.
The course at Valmont on Sunday did not disappoint. By the afternoon the course had dried out a bit but was still boggy in many areas. I had a terrible start causing me to fall into LAST! So I started chasing and moving up. I found myself racing against my favorite girls, Kristin, Melissa and Lisa. it was a fun day and I finished in 14th. Again, super happy with how I felt. Overall it was a great weekend.
Last Sunday I raced the Men's 3 category. The women's race was at the very end of the day and I didn't want to hang out all day waiting to race. After a day off on Saturday I was anxious to get out there again. I had a great start and tried to race aggressively not giving into the guys! The course had many loose corners so it was a balance between staying on the gas and carefully getting through the turns. In the end, I beat a few guys and again felt happy about the effort.
Nick also raced the "Pre-J" category the weekend of the Colorado CX Classic and Boulder Cup. He had really great races finishing in the top 5 of all kids 4-8 yrs old. Unfortunately he is sidelined for most of the season now due to a monkey bar accident that ended in a broken arm. He's hoping to be back for states!
Thanks for reading!