Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tough run up, hills, and Donuts

        This week's race was the opener for the local Surf City Cyclocross series on a Ben Jacques-Maynes designed course at Aptos high. The course was a mixture of  technical descents and quick short climbs with an pedal section thrown in here and there.
          The start was on the northwest side of the gym going north, passing the pits and looping around to the southeast side before turning up a long steep loose run up, but not before a barrier.

Photo From: Surf City Cx facebook
         Following the run up was a short pavement sprint before dropping down the first short but steep as the course  descended into the school, across a quad and up a few concert stairs. Two pedal strokes after the stairs was a short climb starting with a few roots and stumps, before smoothing out and the second short descent.

Photo By: Mark Seymour
         This descent was loose sandy dirt fading away right turn leading to a pedaling section around the outside school's softball fields ending with a gravel pit and a short hairpin across a black top basketball court. Coming off the basketball court the course quickly ascended on to a gravel road, before just as quickly doing an about face and heading back down onto concrete looping next to the pits for a second time in the lap. Immediately coming off the concrete near the pits there was a choice of taking the high line with a steep run, or the low line a off camber sandy climb, both leading to a quick sandy descent quickly into a loose right turn lead to the second loose run up, which had section on the far right that became easily ride able later in day. At the top of the second run up was a quick pedal on a path used for disc golf before a quick but tight left-right chicane to slow racers down before a steep and bumpy descent onto the road. Just as quick as the course dropped onto the road it hopped over the curb on the other ride leading into a quick shallow descending off camber right turn before a long fast pedal down the left field wall and foul line of the baseball field with a really fun chicane halfway around the outfield wall. After making the way around the ball field was a tight hairpin and a muddy climb dumping onto the right side of more pavement and a little more climbing before dropping off the left side of the pavement and a quick hard pack dirt walkway  leading back to the start/finish.

         As they called the Men's B racers to the start was just finishing preriding the course and lined up forth row, about 35th  Although before bring the racers to the line they did call ups, and based on results from last year, I received the number 7 call up and a front row start.

Photo By: Mark Seymour
         On the start I was about fifth, but dove inside of the first turn and broke late sliding into third on the way around the gym towards the run up. At the top of the run up, I found myself ahead of little Ben and a second racer while the front two racers, Alec Howard and Isaiah Rapko were off and build and a gap. Ben the other racer and myself would lead the pack for the first lap, but as we climbed the run up on the second lap they both seemed to have an easier time and got to the top before I could. From there they made formed a gap on me, and would maintain it the rest of the race. For the nest two laps I rode by myself trying to maintain pace, but my laps would just keep getting slower, and I started making mistakes.
Photo By: Mark Seymour
Almost going off course and having to unclip
         With two laps to go, after coming down the steep descent on to road while attempting to go over the next curb, I caught the my front wheel and went over the bars landing on both wrists and my shoulder. I was quick to get up and on the bike but my front shifter was pointing 45 degrees towards the other shifter. I slowly made it down past the baseball field wacking my shifter straight and regaining composure, but would loose a lot of time and energy going into the bell lap.

Photo By :Samantha Smallwood
Going into the bell lap, Rob's shadow close behind
Shortly after crossing the line with the bell banging, I found my self at the run up for the last time of the race, but this time Rob Martone would say "Hi" and talk briftly about how strong I've been riding this year compared to year, before passing me and riding away. At the time I did not know we were racing each other and let him build a gap, taking away what would of been a podium spot. But i continued around the last lap stong by myself and would grab a donut hand out before crossing the line, 6/51.

Photo By: Mark Seymour
NCCX #3 next week, the Stafford Lake Wildcat in Novato.

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