Headed down to the CX state championship race in St. Louis on Sunday. I have had my eye on this race since last year when I got my arse handed to me by the St. Louis boys in Jefferson City in 2012. I have never raced cross in St. Louis before, so no matter what I knew this was going to be fun. Also we get to have a race in "cross" conditions with the snow the night before.
This was going to be my last one as a Cat 3, so I really wanted it to count. I am planning on catting up soon, so I am going to go from one of the top 3 in every race to one of the last 3, real quick-like.
One look at the course set up, add the snow and knew in a moment this race was going to be tough. The course was set up at St. Vincent Park. They seriously found a little bit of everything and incorporated it into the course. Had 2 sand pits, pavement, a good climb, some technical corners and add ice you have a great recipe for a cross race.
Warming up basically consisted of trying to stay dray and figuring out what combos of gear/gloves/boots to wear. I was either sweating or freezing it seems.
|Had a great section that ran you through some singletrack ish trail|
I was starting in the second row which is okay if the guy directly in front of you gets clipped in and started okay. Well, this race was no different than most, and my guy does not get clipped in clean and I am 10 people back in the matter of 3 seconds.
Minus a little snafu on the first sand section my first lap actually went great. About 1/4 into it, I found the wheel of one of the labeled "fast dudes" the locals pointed out and hit the end of the first lap behind him. He was sitting 2nd and I 3rd.
Hey, here is the video of it, see for yourself. I had my GoPro turned on for this one.
After the fist lap I got passed by another dude and it stayed that way for the rest of the lap. I noticed at this point that the course was getting worse as the race progressed. Some of the corners were starting to ice up.
The race was pretty much blown apart by this time and there wasn't a group to be found. Just singles and a couple doubles. I traded some pulls with one more guy and thought that we were going to be able to pull back the guy riding in 3rd (1st was bout out of sight at this point and 2nd was in sight, just out of reach) who was just a couple seconds ahead of us.
|1000 yard stare, I was in the hurt locker at this point.|
Looks as if I was having a bit of trouble out of the corner.
I was beyond the point of delirious at this time and had started to make some mistakes around corners etc. With two laps to go, I thought this was going to be a good lap to catch up and make a play for the podium. On a corner that took us to the barriers I was still holding a wheel and I blew it and went down on some ice.
I got up and got back on as soon as I could but he had about a 10 second gap on me. I tried to close it the best I could, but I just couldn't. And that's where I would remain, finished up 5th. They got some fast guys over there.
It was a complete east side of the state event. The only west side guys were me, TDonn, Garet, and Mark D. Garet looked flippen awesome out there and won the open with his MTB. By the time I got changed and watched some of their race, he had already created a gap of nearly a minute. I think they were only about 1/2 way into the race at that point.
Results are not up yet, but you will be able to find them at USA Cycling when they do.
I saw a bunch of people with cameras, but these are the only photos I have seen yet.