Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 Cyclo X - Valmont Race Report

By Adam Gordon (@icfantv)

I officially lost my CX virginity today.

I got to the race quite early.  I would have said too early, but I never caught myself saying "man, what am I going to do with all this time?" so it probably wasn't.  I got to registration, got pinned, and proceeded to zip tie the timing chip around my ankle because that's what we triathletes are used to - well, save for the whole zip tie thing.  One of the volunteers kindly pointed out that I could put it on my front fork of my bike so I cut it off and was putting it on the front fork of my bike, down by the axle, when another volunteer told me to put it above my brake caliper stud so it wouldn't move around.  Virgin indeed.



Back to the car to drop off everything I wouldn't need and headed out for some course recon.  It was pretty cold so I opted for knee warmers and left my thermal pullover on as well.  There was a layer of frost over all the grass making it just wet enough to be slick, but it dried out by race time.  I should have practiced my mounts during warmup but didn't.  In all I was able to get 3.5 laps in with some pickups during the 3rd lap to get the legs firing.

I dumped my pullover to the side exposing our design-by-committee kit (where everyone got what they wanted, but no one is happy...to quote various team members)

Callups are a bit of a cluster - if you know you're going to be up front, it would behoove you to be close to the front because the guy calls out the names so fast and if you're in the back, you have to weave your way through everyone to get to your spot.  This was just an observation on my part, as I didn't get a call up.  But somehow ended up in the 4th row on the inside.

The start was fine as was the initial ascent up Jailbreak hill.  On the way up the hill, I remember thinking "What the hell did I get myself into?"  This lasted for about three minutes.  There was a  massive clusterf**k at the small sandpit up top with like 20+ guys all bunched up.  It wasn't quite so bad at the larger, lower sandpit but I lost time in both cases due to not being able to ride through.  (Things were spread out enough on the 2nd and 3rd laps where this wasn't an issue.)


The first thing I noticed was that I had power on the flats and when everyone else looked to either be coasting or recovering, I blasted by.  Based on all the people I passed, I must have been DFL through the first half of the first lap.  The rest of the race was uneventful.  I rode hard and didn't smile for Kirk (much to his dismay - but he showed up when he didn't have to and that was appreciated).  No crashes or mechanicals.  I had enough of a gap on the guys behind me so I didn't have to sprint.  Which is good, because I was on my hardtail (no front shock) MTB with 1.9s and doubt I could have out accelerated anyone.


I'd originally finished 38th out of around 50, but the updated results bumped me down to 39th.  I basically negative split my laps, which is good, because I totally forgot that I was supposed to be doing this.

Numbers:

51:  Number of finishers in my category
23.5:  Weight, in pounds, of my mountain bike (!)
2:  Total number of people riding mountain bikes in my category - the other was a full squishy Santa Cruz.  I think he beat me.  Not sure.

I need to work on doing mounts when on tilt.  Mine were non-existent.  I think I will sell my race wheels and hopefully have enough money to buy a CX bike off of eBay with enough time to both practice and race on it for BOD.

Thanks again to Kirk coming out and yelling at me to smile.  I had a lot of fun.

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