Thursday, September 13, 2012

And So It Begins

Two years ago I asked Anne for a hall pass. Let me chase my cyclocross dreams, and give me three years to do it. The end point being the 2013 UCI Masters World Championship. She obliged, and ever since my world has basically revolved around the pursuit of becoming ever faster at the sport of cyclocross.

Year one was encouraging, at the USGP's I was in between the front group and the chase group scoring one podium on a very good day. Year two I made improvements and found myself fighting for wins from the front group, feeling that I had more to gain. Now we begin year three. Hopes are high, I feel more fit than previous years, but only time will tell. The big first exam is coming up in a weeks time. The USGP opener in Sun Prairie, WI. Until then we had our first quiz of the season, the Greenstreet Twilight CX.

The turnout was great and the quality, in Nebraska terms was excellent. A handful of gents even made it over from Des Moines which was awesome. I was a little nervous going in, more from an equipment stand point than anything else. Having just built one of my new bikes the day before, it only had one ride to the shop on it. Everything was as dialed as I could get it, better to find things loosen up now than in Sun Prairie.

Before the race Matt and I schemed a bit on how we would race. Those plans were shot to hell as I followed Paul Webb off the front on lap one. About mid-way through the lap, Paul slid out and I found myself alone, a handful of seconds ahead of the chase group. A quick look back and the only riders I saw coming were Lucas Marshall, Nate Woodman and Paul. No Matt to be seen. Instead of sitting back I decided to pin it not knowing if Matt had had a mechanical or not.

Corning hard during the early laps
(Photo: John Peterson-Nebraska Cycling News)

I slowly worked the gap up and by lap 3 or 4 was feeling really comfortable. Matt was on the comeback too. Slowly picking off riders behind. By now John Rokke had joined the chase group. Lucas was clear in second place with a small group behind. After backing off for a lap, I decided I needed to keep the tempo high in preparation for Sun Prairie. I forced the gap higher and could see Matt had moved into 2nd place.

Tad bit warm for long sleeves
(Photo: John Peterson)
I sat up on the last lap and rolled across for the win with 25 seconds to spare. Enough time to catch the sprint for second. Apparently Matt had gone down and John Rokke caught him making for a two-up sprint. Matt squeezed it out by 0.1 seconds. Awesome finish.

Can't think of a better way to start the year than with a 1-2 finish on home soil. Now to get bike #2 built and some new wheels glued up. Lots to do in the next few days. Then it's on for reals.


Alexander said...

Great opening we are looking to see more of you guys.

badger dave said...

Glad you're blogging again, missed these posts.