An amazing fun course that I felt suited to someone else's talents, like perhaps a roadie that had been racing all summer. The course lacked any real technical difficulty, it was a flat-ish power course that required some decent cornering skills and speed across a soccer field covered in deep grass. Just 3 dismount sections, one additional if possibly the rider in front shanked a steep short climb that immediately followed a wickedly loose steep descent.
By now I'm thinking it's crazy hot (no likey)this course doesn't suit me at all (no techy) and no decent start position(no points). I weaseled my way as much to the front of the line as possible and was about 4 rows back when the whistle blew. Without much effort I had pushed my way into a decent spot ( top 25?) by the time we looped the field and headed out to the proper course. Because the course wound along close enough to sections behind, I could immediately see massive ball-ups and crashes behind, thankful to have missed the carnage. Races were averaging 7-8 minutes so picking out the line choices was key as we weren't going to be doing that many laps.
Then the strangest thing happened...I seem to be moving along pretty well...and I feel good ?! It was one of those "planets in alignment" days on a bike. Steadily moving forward, hitting all my lines. I passed Dale while he was filming and heard "top twenty" on lap 2. On lap 4 or 5 I head big B- Graves yell out "top fifteen" and thought to myself, well he's obviously started drinking early today and is suffering a mild case of heat stroke, and probably mixed in a few to many pain killers from yesterdays crash at Pikes Peak....poor fella. I manged to roll through in 8th place. This would be a new high water mark for me for any race in the vicinity of Denver with a field size this limit. Blown away would be an understatement. I hope I don't lose whatever mojo fell upon me on Sunday because it was working !
Now to the complaining: Call-ups, man I cannot let this one go. I really can't understand why the ACA will not keep track of finishes to determine call-ups at all races this season. It frosts me that the official stands in front of our group and runs through the top 20 from last season and that nets a total of 3 riders to the line.(seriously.) Do your homework and figure out who has either moved on to Cat 3 or 45+ because the current system is not working. Call-ups serve many purposes, one being safety. I think most races have a pretty honest view of their abilities and line up where they think they should be but no all do and when we continue with field sizes as large as they are, please reward the riders that are putting in decent, consistent top placings and award them a place at the front of the line for so many obvious reasons. This policy must change. Done
And now to something completely different, some pictures from the Pikes Peak race !
Thanks to Ultrarob for the pic