Saturday, October 18, 2008

Syracuse Grand Prix

The race went well for me today. Great weather (if you like sunny and cool for CX as opposed to rainy and cool with a 90% chance of mud), great course, decent turnout, and a lot of fan support. My old lady and I have friends in town this weekend and I just returned from a business trip to Dirty Jersey yesterday afternoon, so it wasn't an ideal build up, but 99% of us all have a long list of excuses beyond average genetics. Got home yesterday, took the dogs out quick, hit the trainer for an hour, hit the showers, our friends showed up, drank a bottle of Shiraz, headed out for sushi, drank another bottle of wine, came home, drank a Duvel and decided to see if I could get enough sleep to offset my sins. The race was only a half hour away which was a nice change, but that left me with a lot of spare time this morning with an equal ratio of extra nerves. I made blueberry pancakes for 5 too kill some time. Headed out early to watch the masters race and heckle some friends and teammates. Got in a decent warmup for once and got a decent start. The course was great and there was plenty of time to sprint for the start. I'm not sure why so many CX races force you to make a 180 after a 30 yard sprint, but Eddie and the crew at the Onondaga Cycling Club know what they're doing after a bunch of years. The course was fast with some twisty's, a nice double barrier, a few nice straits, a great mud pit to keep it interesting, more twisty off camber stuff, including a 45 degree off camber that was really cool, and a sandy run up followed by a fast sweeping down hill.

In addition to having friends in town, my parents and in-laws came to the race. No pressure there. It's great to have people cheering for you, but as I've mentioned previously, a smack down between my buddy "Bob" and I was in the works. I got a better start than him for once and thought I might be able to hold him off, but I took a digger on a right hand off camber and got run over by a guy named Turbo that was right on my wheel. We jumped back up and I had to unfreeze my front brake. Bob and a few other guys were pretty close behind, so we got caught. Bob, Turbo and I were able to drop everyone else, but then Turbo, a local TT record holder, pretty much rode away from us leaving Bob and I together yet again. I led Bob around for a couple of laps and then he made a move and got by me. I decided we weren't going to catch a TT guy named Turbo (also Bob's teammate) so I sat on his wheel for the last two laps trying to decide what to do. I thought about trying to attack a couple of times, but I don't think there's any way he was going to let me get away. I decided my best bet was to let him lead me into the barrier before the sandy run up, and make my move there. I just edged him out to the top of the hill, nailed the remount and took off like I stole Sven Nys bike. Bob didn't get clipped in right away, and I was able to barely get away. We actually finished on the lead lap which was very cool. Most of the CNY CX races run an Open Men format, so it isn't unusual to get lapped by a dude like Dan Timmerman or Justin Lindine. Thankfully they weren't in attendance, so ultimately that's really how we stayed on the lead lap, but cool none the less.

I'm off next weekend, so the next smackdown will be at the State Championships. Bob and I won't be the champions of anything, but the race within the race will be interesting for sure.

For now, I'm just going to bask in the glow of the Ommegang Witte that Drumroll gave me for gas money last weekend. Cheers.

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