Monday, September 29, 2008
Cyclocross Season is Here!
This weekend was the first cyclocross race of my season. What a way to kick it off with a UCI race on home turf. The inaugural Madcross presents Jonathan Page's Planet Bike Cup (that's MCpJPPBC if you're into acronymns) was happening just outside of Madison and lots of big names came to town for the event. Thanks to Renee and her Capitol Velo gals, JPE and his Brazen Dropout boys, Planet Bike and all the other great sponsors for helping put on the fun weekend!
Unfortunately I couldn't get the new Ridley all put together for the races but I guarantee it will make an appearance next weekend. A very cool course with some twisty off camber stuff and a few short steep hills. One set of barriers and several open power sections. With nearly 25 women on the start line this was likely the best cross field Wisconsin has ever seen. It was great to have talented riders from the Midwest show up like Catherine, Devon, Sydney, and Linda plus some new faces who traveled even further. We lined up on a dirt track and I was undergeared for the ensuing fast start. After a near pile up in one of the first corners I was mid pack and forced to try to come around riders. My teammate Anna broke the top buckle on her shoe in the incident but she put the hammer down and moved up quickly.
Thanks Bubba for the pic
First cross race of the year is always a bit of a shock to the system. More like a time trial than road races or crits and there really is no place to catch your breath. It definitely hurt and the congestion from the cold I picked up late last week didn't help matters much. I was trying to push it a bit in some corners and took myself out on the third lap. No major damage though three riders zoomed around me and I was left chasing them the rest of the race. I managed to stay close to them but didn't have the power to move up on them and finished 10th. Anna rocked the race and finished 4th - way to go! Natasha Elliot from Canada pretty much schooled the field winning by over 30 seconds.
It was so much fun to be back racing off road and having so many people cheering for you is always great. Dave was out and I also had a bunch of family in town including my parents, grandma, aunt, cousin and her two young sons. Thanks for all of the support!
Lots of fun to watch the men's race with some big guns in town to try to prevent Page from winning his namesake race. The guys were smoking fast and by the third lap JP had the race pretty much wrapped up. Riding for PB Mike Mueller nabbed 2nd and Marko and Jesse were up in the mix for 6th and 8th respectively. A great day for the Planet Bike team!
Sunday's course was just slightly modified with a tricky tight downhill 180 turn. Pretty much a power course though with just one set of barriers on a hill. Learning from my mistake on Saturday I put it in the big ring and had a much better start. I'm still figuring out gearing and pushed a bigger gear for this second race. I rode for a lap or so with Catherine before the two Velo Bella riders caught us and then I slowly fell back. Linda passed me a lap or two later and I would spend the rest of the race trying to catch her. I was sad to see Syd walking her bike halfway after getting a flat tire in a bad spot on the course. I felt more smooth on the bike today but still wasn't feeling great. Up the final hill to the finish on the last lap I heard my chain clanging around and then it fell off. Too flustered to fix it I ran the final 50m to the line and was lucky that Kaitie didn't catch me. Moved up a spot and finished 9th. Another awesome race for Anna who finished 3rd and who was with 2nd place most of the race. Nice job to our friend and race announcer Brian - it's amazing how much more fun it is to race (and spectate) when someone is announcing the action.
The men's race was awesome. Lots of big riders with Troy and Todd Wells, Tim Johnson, Bjorn Selander, among many others. It was exciting with a group of 4 taking charge after a lap or two (Page, Wellsx2, TJ). Eventually Todd pulled away solo but with a few laps to go Page bridged up and it was a fight to the finish where Jonathan took the win by only a few seconds.
Thanks again for everyone involved in putting this race on - it was great to have such a high caliber event in Wisconsin. As always the rowdy fans showed up to show their support and the crowds were fabulous the entire weekend. Also thanks to Bob and Planet Bike for helping make this race happen and for the support this season!
Back to doing some substitute teaching as the bike shop cuts back on employees for the fall. Had a fun day of teaching Economics last week (aka showing the movie Hudsucker Proxy to 5 classes). Another Wisconsin doubleheader this weekend with Cam-Rock and Lapham Peak. I need some more racing in my legs before the next round of UCI races. Those will be coming up quick with a likely trip to Ohio Oct 10-12 and Louisville the 25/26. Can't wait to race the new Ridley! Thanks for stopping by!