Sunday, December 11, 2011

Iowa State CX Championships: Round 2

With a whole bunch of space in between Jingle Cross and Nationals I was stoked when I heard that the Iowa State CX Championships had been pushed back from it's normal November date to December. And with a awesome prize purse it made it all the more lucrative. And...another chance to go head to head with Kevin McConnel.

I've used Kevin as my Elite gauge when I was thinking about jumping out of the Masters category and into the Elites. He's super consistent and we have pretty similar strengths.

Anyways, I loaded up the Sprinter, this time for a solo trip to greater metropolitan Altoona, Iowa. Steve and the Zealous Racing boys put together a solid track and the freeze thaw conditions were bound to make it interesting.

At the whistle, I immediately jumped on Kevin's wheel and within the first minute we had already established a gap. I was hoping a group would stay together so I wouldn't have to go mano e mano with Kevin. Over the next 2 laps I tried to pick apart any weaknesses he had. Trouble was, our styles and fitness were so evenly matched there really weren't any. Kevin would eventually bobble a corner and I took over the lead. I put in a few digs in sections I thought I might be able to force a gap but he stayed close. With 3 laps to go I'd decided that the long uphill drag would be my spot to attack with one and a half laps to go. I put in my effort, he hung tight. I went again on the next hill, he was still there. It was going to come down to a sprint.

Kevin had my number all day over the ties
Photo: Maharry
Photo: Maharry
Kevin took the lead with one to go and as we came out of the rail road tie ride/run up he pinned it. My legs didn't have the strength to match it but as we inched closer to the finish he began to come back to me. I didn't have enough real estate as he got the better of me for the second time this season. I've been pretty borderline this season in most of my 60 minute races and it showed. I'm missing that last lap punch. But I guess that comes with the territory when racing a ton of 45 minute Masters races. It was a good fight regardless.

On the up side. I locked up 2nd place in the USGP as well. Really wish I could have made the trip in hindsight as I could have really fought for the title. Could have could have could have, didn't. It's still been a dream season.

Frozen tundra
Photo: Maharry

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