Monday, March 18, 2013

Race Report: Cobb Lake Circuit Race

By Kirk Groves (@LSVLKirk)
Jon Maule and I raced with the 4-5s at Cobb Lake, put on by CSU Cycling. The course was roughly a rectangle, one side was a dirt road (W->E) with some washboards and loose dirt off to the sides. It was hard to see the bumps with the lighting, especially when in a pack. Right after the dirt road was a turn to the right and a climb (N->S), nothing too steep or long, but enough to get your attention. The start/finish line was at the top of the climb. There were some nice wide winding corners for a bit, a mellow descent (E->W), a false flat (S->N). The SM4-5s were doing 5 laps, a total just under 40 miles. Here is a map of the circuit on Strava.

Jon and I arrived with plenty of time. We got in a spin to survey the course and get warmed up. The sky was looking angry and it started to rain. Fortunately the rain stopped quickly and the skies cleared. The conditions were great for racing. Over 75 guys registered for the SM4-5 race and apparently there is a limit of 75 racers for a race that includes 5s. They split us into two groups, it wasn't clear how they broke us up. Jon and I went off with the first group. The second group left 4 minutes later.

For a little of background, during a crit about 3 years ago and I made a stupid mistake and caused a guy to crash hard. Ever since I've been skittish about mass start racing. I picked this race to return to pack racing. It seems to fit the bill as it wasn't a technical course. It also helped to be riding with a Jon, a veteran. Jon does a great job of positioning within the group. He was always in the right place at the key moments - leading into the dirt and at the base of the hill.

I was comfortable, confident and feeling good for the first four laps. I was right there as things started to heat up on the last lap. No one had gotten off the front, so nothing had been decided. Up the false flat the race was on! As we got to the dirt stretch it was surge/let-up/surge/let-up over and over. It was hurting me a bit to match the surges so I tried to take a bit longer to respond to a surge but still get back on before the next. That worked the first 2 or 3 times, but right towards the end of the dirt, I didn't make it back in time. It didn't help that I was having to pick through the traffic of guys who'd blown-up. The guys who would contend for the win were out of reach I was in a group of guys left to pick up the scraps. After the corner at the base of the climb I was around 15th. I gave it everything I had, which didn't feel like much, but I was able to move up to 10th.

I accomplished all my goals for the day... I had fun, I learned a lot, I was competitive, I stayed up-right and built some confidence in pack riding. I really enjoyed the day.

The next race on my calendar is Cult Cross in Eagle on March 31st. It's a long way to drive for a race, but damn I love CX!!! Any one want to car-pool?

No comments:

Post a Comment