Monday, November 21, 2011

NE CX Weekend

Wow. That's about the best way I can describe how this season is going for me. Almost unbelievable. I'm pretty sure I've never been this fast on a bike before. This past weekend was the Flatwater Cyclocross weekend with the Nebraska State Championship race being Sunday.

Photo: John Petersen
Saturdays race was our coldest of the year. Early morning mild temperatures dropped to just below freezing by start time. To make matters worse I forgot both my knee and leg warmers at home. But that's what embro is for, so I lathered up and headed out. The race was, well, don't really know how to describe it. Brian Jensen led the opening laps and as I ran by him on the run up during lap 3 I heard Jay's voice behind yell go, so I did. One lap later I had a 10 second lead and a long lonely race in front of me. I was gaining 3-5 seconds a lap so I decided to get the gap up to 30 seconds then turn it off and save some juice for Sunday. Problem was it took me about 7 laps to get there. Finally I got it in cruise mode and rolled through with another victory.

Photo: John Petersen
Photo: John Petersen
Brian came through with a comfortable second while Matt and Jeff Kluck had a day long battle for third which Matt took at the line in what was one of a couple good sprint finishes on the day.

Sunday came and the temps were marginally warmer and the legs were not quite as good as I'd hoped they'd be. This time kitted up with leg warmers I was much more prepared and ready to go. Brian took the holeshot as we all slotted in behind him. Matt flatted on the first lap and I think it caused a little gap as Brian, Jeff Kluck, Jay and myself all got a couple seconds on the chase group. Soon though it was down to just Brian, Jeff and myself. I wasn't in a too much a hurry to extend the advantage as I had both Matt and Jay chasing behind, but neither Brian nor Jeff were too keen on towing me around all day.

The three of us traded spots as I struggled to find the legs to pull out another win. Although I nailed my kit below the waist I had opted for a mesh baselayer instead of my long sleeve wind block baselayer. The decision was killing me as my chest was really cold. Too cold as I was struggling to keep warm.

As the laps ticked down I knew I had enough gas to try an attack with 4 laps to go. Things didn't feel right with 4 to go but with 3 to go I took the lead and noticed that Jeff had gotten between Brian and I. Jeff was overgeared all day and had been forced to run the hill instead of ride it. I used this to my advantage and began lifting the pace and once over the ride/run up I drilled it. My gap immediately exploded to over 20 seconds as I stomped on the pedals hard out of each corner. With the bell ringing and 1 lap to go I'd extended the lead to almost 30 seconds which was good because the two lap effort fried my legs. Somehow I pulled off back to back State Championships.

Winning it Belgian style with "No one else in the picture"

Matt and Jay had good battles all day with Matt flatting and then coming back, then crashing and coming back again to finish 4th. While Jay was locked in a battle with Noah Marcus and Paul Webb with Noah getting the upper hand in the end and Jay finishing 6th.

It was a great day for the club. Leah won the women's State Championship, Jeremy the Cat 3 and Rafal the Singlespeed. Only race we missed out on was the Masters but it was won by Tom Price who works in our Kansas City store so it felt like a win there too.

Interesting technique from Greg
Next up is Jingle Cross in Iowa City. I'm looking forward to more tough racing against the boys from the Pony Shop. Fun, fun, fun.

Amazing video by Keith Walberg

Lincoln Flatwater Cyclocross-2011 from Keith Walberg on Vimeo.


Leah said...

Greg's picture should be a what not to do!

Shim said...

OK, give a brother a break, I slipped, glad the camera was there.