Monday, November 18, 2013

Race reports - Interlocken, Xilinx & Bowl of Death by Kirk Groves (@LSVLKirk)

The past two weekends have been a microcosm of my season. A tease of potential mixed in with incredibly frustrating mechanical issues.
Saturday, 11/9, we lined up at Interlocken. From the start it was right into the double run-up along with the sand and a barrier. From there a bit of rest and down to the marsh. I rode it clean 3 times during warm-up but I ran it during the race. There was an easy line clear at the left up against the tape but the middle was eating riders up. I saw plenty of people having issues like this:  The balance of the course was off-camber and cornering in power sapping grass. It was exactly what I think of as Interlocken. From the start I settled into 2nd behind Jamie Servaites. I wasn't able to hold Jamie's wheel but I had a solid grasp on 2nd. With half a lap to go I started to lose air in my rear tire. The hole sealed, thanks Stan's, but I was left with ~10 psi. I partially rolled the tubular tire in an off-camber section and I had to baby the bike in to the finish line. The tire was coming off in every corner and then coming back on. I lost 2 spots in the last minute of the race and was bumped off the podium. I was encouraged by the fitness I'd shown but being off the podium stung.

Sunday, 11/10, was the 2nd visit to Xilinx of the season for the Blue Sky Cup. I thought the course had great flow and I like their version just as much as Without Limits. I got the start I wanted again and settled into 2nd behind, you guessed it, Jamie again. I stayed in 2nd for about a lap until a hard week of training and race the day before caught up with me. I just didn't have that extra gear I needed to hold position. With one lap to go I'd slipped all the way to 11th. I rallied a bit on the last lap and made two nice passes in off-camber corners and then got a guy in the sprint to finish 8th. I was at peace with the result, I gave it everything I had and I just came up short.

Saturday 11/16 was the Louisville Rec Center, better known as the Bowl of Death. I felt strong and rested coming in after the low volume week. I got a top-10 at the BOD last year so I knew I could put up a result despite the hilly profile and the nasty run-ups. I got a great clip-in and at the front as we approached the first nasty run-up. I wanted one last hard push to get me in the top 2 or 3 so I down-shifted and the chain wasn't having any of it, the connecting link broke. My run with the bike wasn't longer than others but by the time I got the B bike out of the pit I was DFL, 54th out of 54. Mentally I was crushed, I targeted this race since it's in by backyard. Once I was back on course I tried to balance being a considerate racer and making up spots in a hurry. No one yelled at me so maybe I was overly considerate. I don't know if I had the fitness for a podium on that course but I definitely don't have it after being DFL in the first minute. I made steady progress forward all race and ended up 16th.

It's been fun see more Foxtrot representation at the races recently. Ox lined up at Interlocken on his SS and Greg put in a dominate performance that day. Jon is continuing to return from an injury and showed signs of his fitness coming around in the first lap of the BOD.

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