2011 Cyclocross season is done!

30Dec11

The cross season is over! For me anyway.

Here is a quick re-cap of the last two Colorado Cup races in 2012:

Lyons CX:
With temps warming up, but fairly fresh snow on the ground, this was sure to be another sloppy, slick, cold mess. With our category being the last race of the day and the winter solstice near, the sun was sure to start going down during our race. When the sun goes down in Colorado in the winter, the temperature plummets like you wouldn’t believe, so dressing for the anticipated cold was sure to be a factor in success.

I had a fairly good start, rolling off the front in second position. I was following my teammate Jesse Swift’s wheel and feeling good. Within the first lap, Jesse, Joe Saperstein and I had a good gap on the next chasers. I was still feeling good, but there was a very icy section where I lost my nerve, that’s where Joe passed me and the two rolled off the front with me chasing in 3rd.

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With hard charging teammates behind me and guys from other teams behind me, I pinned it and kept on the pedals in the hunt for a podium. After the previous week’s 4th place, I wasn’t going to be happy unless I was on the podium, so I chased hard and stayed on it as the sun started to go down!
On the last lap, I let up a little in the final quarter mile thinking I had 3rd in the bag, but then I saw a rider closing in on me fast! Turns out, quietly a rider from Durango who I hadn’t seen much this year had been chipping at my heels without me knowing it. I drilled it in the last 1000 meters, but with 500 to go, he was on my wheel. In the slick, cold conditions, I drilled it and threw my bike in a photo finish to finish a close 3rd!
After a few weeks away, I was back on the podium! Even better, I was putting a stronghold on 4th place overall in the Colorado Cross Cup and even positioning myself for 3rd overall if I had a good ride at State Championships the following weekend.
Colorado State Cyclocross Championships:
After another week of good snow and a last minute venue change to the Castlerock course from a few weeks back, it was sure to be a tough one. In addition, this is arguably the best attended singlespeed cross race of the year. Pros Colby Pearce and Brady Kappius were on the line along with a few other top riders, in addition to the normal crew of 40-50 singlespeed regulars.
The course was WAY different from the course in the same location from a few weeks back. Next to Boulder Cup, it was the most demanding course of the year. Lots of mud, lots of technical sections, hard run ups, a difficult fly-over and LOTS of climbing!
While I was feeling confident from the week before, my legs weren’t feeling so hot. Additionally, I knew my tires weren’t aggressive enough for the deep, sloppy mud. Even though I was a little worried, I hadn’t lost any hope and was still in the hunt for a podium. I certainly wanted to be in the top 3 overall in the Colorado Cross Cup. Today was the last chance to move up! After avoiding my teammate who nearly went down in a bad start, I was able to crest the start hill in 3rd and proceeded to follow Brady Kappius and my teammate Jesse Swift into the singletrack and we rolled off the front. Just like last week! I was pumped, things were going well!
My legs weren’t there and after a few laps of holding onto the back of the top two riders, my teammate Chad Melis came up and made a pass. I was still in 4th and was in need of just a little recovery. On a steep run up, I got caught behind Chad who tried to ride it and we got tangled a bit. Some valuable time was lost here and instead of working together, our tangle caused the riders behind to catch up and a few more riders passed us.
I was pretty shattered mentally and just couldn’t seem to keep things smooth. Just as I started to stop the bleeding and move up again to get back in the top 5, I had a nasty spill on a slick turn. Loosing a few 30 second chunks in a competitive cyclocross race can pretty much take you out of the hunt. In the end I had my worst race of the year finishing 12th. I was super bummed. I was started the day with dreams of the podium and a top 3 finish this year, but instead, I was just lucky to hold onto my 4th overall.
On the bright side, my Gates Centertrack Carbon Drive worked flawless, even despite layers of mud! Other than a poor tire choice, my gear was dialed and there was no reason for my crappy day than my legs and inability to get some good momentum during the race.
Check it my bike after the race!
 
In the end, I’m pretty happy with how things turned out this year. I ended up 4th overall in the Colorado Cup Single Speed. My team Gates Carbon Drive took the top 5 spots in Colorado and the team competition. I would have liked to have won at least one race, but I made it on the podium a few times, so that’s cool. Last year, my cross season ended in the ER with a serious injury, so I can’t complain!
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One Response to “2011 Cyclocross season is done!”

  1. 1 Susan Riley

    Great write up and photos! Looks grueling! You should be proud.


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