Last year’s Cross Crusade #5 was my first ever cyclocross race, and despite a strong desire to line up in the Clydesdale category, I rode as a Beginner. Thanks to the wonder of cyclocross, I still felt like I was about to die. So when preparing for this year’s cross season and our trip to Oregon, I was determined to race as a Clydesdale and actually put together a top half finish. If only it were that easy…
you just got faced (photo via @itsdanno)
Sharing a 12 hour day of driving prior to race day probably isn’t the best prep. I had assumed my effort in last years Cross Crusade could be primarily attributed to the previous night’s drinking, lack of sleep, and subsequent dehydration. Turns out, a long day on the road and 3 beers was enough to crank up the CX pain. Let’s just say, the entire race my legs and lungs were not in it. Race-time adrenaline was not enough to keep me from slowing my pace throughout the race.
If you can’t be fast, look fast (photo via @itsdanno)
The 2010 course was pretty similar to last year. 1) bomb down the hill, 2) climb back up the hill, 3) inside the stables, outside the stables, inside, outside, etc, 4) up the hill, 5) down the hill, 6) misc stuff, 7) mud, 8) barriers, 9) barn, 10) finish line, and so on… As if in honor of our anniversary, the 2010 version felt oh so much like last year’s. Just settle into your desired level of pain output and try to sustain it for 45 minutes; don’t come anywhere close to sustaining it.
The whole race is kind of a blur, with the exception of the finish. Just like last year, I thought I had someone caught coming into the last corner. This year was different. That grass-to-pavement transition made it damn slippery. Supposedly taking out a handful of elites later in the day. Applying power on slippery pavement while leaning to get around a corner is not a good idea. That’s where you fall, pick up some battle wounds, and lose some bike pieces. At least my remount to get over the line looked good.
a little Cross Crusade road rash on my shoulder, no additional charge!
At the end of the day, a 22 of 36 finish didn’t meet my goal for the season, but I had one more chance. Either I had to race better hungover and/or dehydrated in slacks and a tie… or everyone else will need to race a lot slower.