Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Race Report: Formula Four CX by Kirk Groves (@LSVLKirk)

Last Friday I took delivery of a new CX bike. Jd Whitney & Foxtrot Wheel N Edge hooked me up with a SICK bike, the 2014 Raleigh RXC Disc: http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/cyclocross/rxc-disc-14/  Needless to say, I'm in bike-love. I was able to get in rides on it Saturday and Sunday and Tuesday it was time to try it out in a race. I'll be posting a gear review soon.

Jon Maule and I signed up to do the Formula Four race put on by Without Limits at the Valmont Bike Park. The format was an eliminator -- a couple laps and with a portion racers advancing, rinse and repeat. We raced the C's and it was a field of 20 racers, give or take at the beginning. We were going to do 3 laps with the top-15 advancing. Then 2 laps with the top-8 advancing to a single lap, winner take all. The course was typical for Valmont but a bit shorter. My average lap times were around 6:20. Course features included the gravel/sandpit, the Belgian Stairs and some narrow windy single track.

In the first set of 3 laps I got a strong start and went into the first bottleneck second wheel. Given the format of the race I only needed to be top 6 or 8 to advance with a front-row call-up for the next round. I was feeling strong and I was in 2nd or 3rd throughout this entire portion. I finished up 2nd and didn't feel like I'd expended too much energy. In the second set of 2 laps I again got a strong start and ended up 3rd wheel. I again was 2nd or 3rd throughout. I eased up at the end and finished 3rd.

For the winner take all lap I lined up in the outside lane thinking it would give me the best line into the first corner. Unfortunately the last person called up decided that he was going take a spot between me and the fence. I didn't get a clean start and I had to check-up to avoid the guy who'd lined up outside me. I was 6th going into the first corner -- I had my work cutout for me, there were only a couple prime passing opportunities. I passed two guys on a straight after the sandpit and then passed another guy up the Belgian Stairs. I then moved from 3rd to 2nd by passing a guy climbing up the mesa. I sat in 2nd waiting for my chance in the finishing straight. I unleashed my wicked sprint (ha!) and won by a full bike.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHkqzClBJxM  The victory even more sweet as I beat a BCS racer in the sprint -- I have an invented rivalry with them. I've included the mandatory podium shot. I'm holding the Rudy Project helmet that was the prize, unfortunately it's way too small for me so I'll pass it on to one of the kids. Big thanks for Jeremy and his son Quinn for showing up to cheer and take photos/vids!

FF Podium

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