Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spooky Cross 2011

For me, this is one of my 'home races'. I live 5 mins from the course and ride out there regularly. The event is also put on by a bunch of friends and attended by most of my friends, so it makes for a great event!

The course this year was similar to last year's excepting the run-up the stairs in the ampitheatre. They had some renaissance festival going on in there supposedly so we could not use it....

Day one had a very large CX4 field (large for Memphis standards) with over 2 dozen riders. They also ran the SS'ers with us to make the group bigger.. I got to the line late so lined up mid-pack. The start involved a straight that eventually dove into some pretty tight singletrack. I knew getting into the woods would be crucial and edged up a bit from mid-pack to hit the woods in the first 1/3 of the group. I came out of the woods in pretty good position, but quickly started going backwards..... By the end of the race, I managed to beat a couple of racers I knew I wanted to be in front of, but was pretty much behind everyone else....

Day two had half the field of the previous day. They also reversed the course and moved some of the barriers to reposition them on run-ups. I felt better on the start even though I did not hit the woods in the best position. After a while, I started going back and forth with a couple non-locals and we had a race going. I'd beat them in the barriers and woods, they'd pull me back and pass on the flats and on the paved sections. In the end, I was able to make a large dig and make it stick. Unfortunately, I was still back of the pack at the finish.

I did not get completely skunked however - they had a 'bike handling' competition right before the awards ceremony. They did the 'circle drill' where all the riders are put in a circle and then the circle is gradually tightened up. Dab and out. I made it to the end and won. The prize was something my results say I definitely need - one month full service coaching from a USAC certified pro coach.

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