Sunday, November 3, 2013

Race report -- Schoolyard CX and Feedback Cup by Kirk Groves (@LSVLKirk)

It wasn't my weekend.
On Saturday the race was relocated from the CU Research Park to the Boulder Reservoir. It was a typical course for the Rez -- lots of sand. It was a fairly open course and you could pedal through 95%+ of it -- less of a 'surge' course and more long steady efforts. I got a good start and sat in 4th or 5th for the first lap and a half. If you had the skills you need not dismount at all. There were two things to hop, a telephone pole and a railroad tie. The sand was rideable for some, not me. I wasn't feeling great but I was never below 5th position. I was struggling in the sand, I had to dismount and run both sections. I was feeling good about my riding through the corners. I was taking good lines, tape to tape, maintaining momentum. I absolutely love the new tubular wheels (White Industries CX11 hubs and Clement PDXs) I debuted this week. The first time over the RR tie I cleared it easy. Second time over it was even quicker and smoother. The third time I barely touched the brakes and my plan was to hop it clean. I didn't make it, not even close. In a flash I was catapulted over the bars and heading towards the ground. I took most of the impact on my elbow but I also kissed the ground. I came up spitting blood. First I checked my teeth and was elated to feel they were all still in place. I could feel my upper lip swelling rapidly. I could have continued racing but I decided to call it a day. I walked up to the medical support and got cleaned up. It was funny to see the expressions of the spectators. I heard a couple people talking, "Did you see that guy eat it?" Glad I could be of service and provide entertainment. I had some decent rash on my elbow and a cut on my upper lip that required 4 stitches. My bike was undamaged. All things considered it could have been much worse, no tooth damage, no concussion and my bike was bloody but otherwise ready to go for Sunday.

Sunday I drove down to Golden for the Feedback Cup. I've raced this location quite a few times and this course was pretty standard. There was lots of cornering, a set of stairs, a single barrier and double barriers. There was also a bumpy descent followed by an immediate steep and loose climb. I made it up it each time but I bet it was a cluster further back in the pack. During warmup I was riding really tentative and overly cautious, not surprising the day after a face plant. After about 15 minutes and dialing my tire pressure I regained my confidence. Another good start to justify my front row callup and I settled into 3rd. I swapped spots with the guy behind me a time or two. I was biding my time and riding clean. I was hoping to keep the guys in front of me close and make a move in the second half of the race. Just past the pits I downshifted going into a corner and then coming out of the corner it was really easy to pedal, too easy -- I'd broken my chain. I was too far from the pit to run so my day was over.  Ugh, my second DNF in 2 days.

Next weekend is Interlocken and Xilinx. I ***KNOW*** I can contend for the podium at this level and on a good day be on the top step. My make your own luck and I've learned some rough lessons so far this season. Hopefully I can benefit from this rough patch and come out even faster next week. I still dearly love CX but we're going to have a serious conversation about how things have been going recently.

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