After the International Tour De Fromage last week and a solid 8 days off the bike, I had zero expectations for Saturday other than have some fun turning some laps. Friday was filled with some heavy thunderstorms and hail which had me frantically switching tires and putting fresh spikes in the shoes and as expected, these activities jinxed any chance of a muddy track. The course had dried out super quick but received just enough rain to make it ridiculously tacky and FAST !
Because travel had me missing key points races, there has been little to no opportunity to pick up any decent start spots in the 35+4 group. Because any race in the vicinity of Boulder draws such huge numbers in this "catch all" field, I've been stressing way to much about lacking the freedom to race my own race. It really had started to become un-fun routinely getting balled up in traffic. Therefore, I am implementing PLAN B: finish the season in the 45+ group for the following reasons.
1) when I'm driving at least an hour and half every weekend from the Springs, it sure is nice to wake at a reasonable hour to race
2) smaller field sizes =way less stressful starts
3) it's super motivating when my elders are handing it to me with ease
So, Saturday, with no hope of a call up, I find a nice open spot at the back which is only about 4 rows back. Whistle blows are we're tearing up the hill, there is no screwing around with these guys, they are here to tear your legs off, this isn't a social race. The pace is freakishly fast and I'm barely hanging on at about 8 -10 spots from the back. Thankfully I find my rhythm a bit and start moving forward relying more on other riders mistakes than fitness. A short grouping of mini barriers begs to be bunny hopped so I oblige even though the little voice of reason in my head is screaming " you best not shank this". Thankfully I cleanly execute them and pick up about 2 spots on every lap as the section following the barriers is a very rough patch of ground making remounting challenging. I can see a group of 5 in front and bridge up to them just as we hit the pavement climb and the group blows apart. I'm so cross-eyed going through the start finish that I'm looking for the lap counter and realize later that the huge digital board over my head is clearly displaying time and laps. I even hear the announcer give me a call out and I'm delirious wondering how this person knows I go by "Shotty". For the last few laps I'm trading positions with 3 other guys only to move forward and then immediately get dropped. By the end I roll through in 33rd out of 55 starters. Not bummed at all, in fact massively inspired and thoroughly enjoyed the race. So I've got some work to do but I feel super good with my decision to join this field. It's far more motivating and I'm already thinking about what I need to do to earn a top 15 or top 20 placing by the time state champs come around.
A massive thanks go out to Blue Sky Velo for putting on a great event! Yes, you are making everyone else look silly out there. A great course, pre-reg and number pickup was a breeze, I was e-mailed results by 4PM that day ! Jen participates in triathlons and I'm always impressed by the level of organization at these events and bummed in how cyclocross pales in comparison,but Saturday proved me wrong. Great work !
Congratulations to Sram/Avid riders who all climbed to top spot on the podium this weekend: Zdeneck Stybar, Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers, way to kill it out there !
hope to find some images from Saturday, until then , thanks for reading