Another fair weather day for cyclocross in Kentucky with temps near 70. Course was nearly identical to day 1 with the sandpits being nice and tracked in and a bit easier to ride. Team Planet Bike hoping to improve upon Saturday's performances and keep racing strong against the competition. Warming up on the road
Hoping to have another good start but couldn't clip in right away and went into the grass in the back third of the field. Slowly but consistently moved my way around riders. Anna had a great start and was riding in the top 15. Here she is looking oh so Euro in the all white skinsuit.
On lap 2 I could see her group just ahead of me. Coming through one of the tricky sand pits I see her off the back of the group just getting back on her bike. She had crashed hard and I encouraged her to get on my wheel and that we would make it back up to the group of Meredith, Josie, Amy, and Rebecca.
Nearly a lap later were latched back on to the group. Through the same sand section a couple of girls dabbed and I surfed around them and pulled ahead with Rebecca Wellons. Two laps to go and we were together through the barriers and had a slight gap on the other riders. I try to stick to her wheel as we come through a pavement section and next thing I know I'm on the ground. Took the corner a little too hot and as I pound my brake lever back into place the chasing group of 4 riders comes around me. I hop back on try to regain lost ground but am flustered from the crash and take the corners more conservatively. I see a nice line of blood from my knee coming down my shin. There is no one within sight behind me and I find myself frustrated and complacent with my position. I try to push harder but the group has about 20 seconds on me. I hold my place for 15th with Anna riding well in the group and finishing 11th.
I was frustrated with my inability to stay upright this weekend and my continued issue with my starts, but otherwise felt like I was riding decently well. This was a super talented field and I knew it would be hard to break into the top 10. Definitely some things to work on but I'm still happy with how the weekend went for me. And above all else I did have a lot of fun out there - and in cyclocross that is rule #1 :)
After cleaning up my wounds and cooling down with Anna it was now time to spectate the boys in their race. They were both riding in the top 15 when Jesse flatted on the second lap, rode to the pit and then tried to make up lost ground and catch back on to Mark's group. He had lost a lot of places but was looking strong when he decided to bunny hop the barriers to try to make up more time. I happened to be right there and Jamie got these sweet shots.
Nice job clearing the first and now going for the second. Couldn't quite clear the rear wheel.
Landed hard on the shoulder.
Bike flies into the crowd - see me freaking out on the sidelines.
The crowd was loving it. I think he was the only rider to attempt jumping the barriers and he was so close to pulling it off. He rode for another lap before the pain in his shoulder forced him to pull out of the race. Bruised but not broken. A few days of rest should have him healed up in no time.
Meanwhile Mark and Brian Matter were ripping it up in a group of three that was racing for 10th place. On the last lap they were less than 5 seconds from Troy Wells. Mark got a gap on the two other riders and came across the line for a very impressive 10th place finish. Matter rode an equally strong ride and came in just behind Mark for 11th.
All in all a really fun weekend and good showings by Team Planet Bike. Follow the link for the new team blog. I'm posting lots of pictures and videos here along with some brief race reports. It's a work in progress but hopefully I can keep it updated in a relatively timely manner!
Thanks to Planet Bike and all the other sponsors for helping us get to the first weekend of USGP of Cyclocross and racing the big dogs. With several top 15 results we proved that we're a team to be reckoned with. And I think we caught some eyes with our hot new skinsuits. Thanks again to Jamie Young for being our personal photographer!
Life between race weekends continues to hum along. Having a lot of fun working with the guys out at Planet Bike and teaching high school. I had a conversation with some kids last week about text messaging and I was shocked to hear the sheer volume of texts kids are sending these days. One girl boasted 16,000 texts in one month to one person. Geez, sometimes I think we're a little too connected to our little electronic devices.
It's getting cold in Wisconsin and our annual contest to see how long we can go without turning on the furnace ended last week when it got to 52 in our house. Wearing a hat and gloves around the house was character building but 62 does feel better. And Cider didn't seem to enjoy wearing her down jacket that much. Winter is on its way and while it's fun to complain about it there is something nice about the
change of season and getting through the cold weather. Makes you appreciate the warmth of spring and summer more.
Some more local races in Milwaukee next weekend before I head to Toronto on Nov 8/9 for another round of UCI racing. Thanks for reading!