Monday, September 8, 2014

Race Report: Kick It CX

By:  Andy Lueck

Good start to my first CX season with Foxtrot.  Tough the start roster for the 3s had some familiar names and some not so familiar, 23 starters and 21 finishers in all. Sunny and hot when I first arrived around 11 but clouds came in before our start at 1:45 and some sprinkles even tried to knock the dust down towards the end of the 3s race.

The Plan: Got the front row start and decided to kick hard but not all the way and hope it was enough for the hole shot.  Well someone tried to contest that and with some good twists, turns, and of course my pride on the line I clicked a couple more gears and was first into the dirt just as I heard LG, "and there goes the hole shot hero."  Overcooked the right-hander leading up to the gazebo and almost met face to metal pole, back off a hair they are hurting behind you.  Planned to ride the run up as I had done it 3 times in warm-up.  As I come in and clear the first plank I notice the tape has moved in and my line it gone, jump off and run like hell.  I only lost one spot which I quickly got back when we came back next to the pits.  I had planned to keep myself well into the red for the first 1 1/2 laps and I did just that.

That middle portion: Well Laps 2-4 were uneventful.  Kirk was yelling splits to me and I remember hearing a couple 40 seconds in there.  Kept seeing Jon in the pits with my B bike in case I ever needed it.  Carly (the wife) kept telling me to keep smooth and race smart.  I did just that for the middle portion: kicked in the straits/up hills, kept it smooth through the technical bits, didn't kill the run up, and kept it just south of the LT. 

The last lap: I took a look back at the finish straight and saw I had maintained my lead (somewhere just under a minute) but tried not to let myself get excited yet, I've been in this place before to only get a flat and end up somewhere in the mid 20s.  Grabbed a beer on the run up, cause I promised the hecklers I would on the last lap.  Did a double check behind me at the top and stopped just long enough to chug down half a solo cup of suds.  I heard and felt a thumping, that can't be my chest.  Nope saw a helicopter coming in for a landing.  Kept going but couldn't help but to keep one eye on the helicopter as he was also spooking a herd of cows into a small stampede.  Well turns out the guy that lives next to Rhyolite commutes via helicopter, lucky.  Lifted the pace a bit for the last lap and the last dirt section before the finish straight I allowed myself and smile, checked the jersey zip (gotta be pro), and tucked in for the wind gusts ripping down the pavement.  

Thanks to my wife for hand ups and allowing me to race on our 1st anniversary.  Thanks to Jon and Laina for the support and taking the initiative to hang in the pits in case I had a mechanical.  Thanks for the yelling Kirk and giving me splits.  
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Things that could have gone better: Remember the team tent especially when the promoters give you access to the team area. But probably best since those damn micro bursts destroyed at least one pop up.

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