Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Grand Illusion

Saturday at Alpha cross in Centennial. Jim and I arrived with time to spare and set up trainers (the new ACA warm-up rules must be a boon to the makers of trainers and rollers !) while watching a huge fog bank lie to the North and feeling the cold winds blow off it. I was digging deep into the gear bag looking for any spares of hats, gloves, arm leg warmers etc. I misjudged my attire based on the forecast. Thankfully by the time we lined up, that great big ball of fire that rotates around our flat earth warmed things up nicely; the Mad Alchemy on the legs was doing it's trick as well. I got in a good 2 laps of reconnaissance and loved the course. A lot of creativity for somewhat of a blank canvas. Super fast, 90% cropped grass with more than a few brutal grinders of climbs to make things interesting. Many of these had some longish false flats on top so even through your were past the steep part, you weren't done. There were even some soggy spots just to pull any residual leftover power from the legs.

Typically in the past, this is not the type of course I excel on. However, the lack of moisture on here on the Front Range has turned most races into ferociously fast crits on grass/sand/wood chips requiring heaps of wattage and perhaps that's what my bodies adapted to. I was feeling
really good, able to move up through the field, trying to limit losing places. I was slightly ahead of those that I'm typically mingling with on the course and I figured I am headed for a stellar day. Not making any (huge)mistakes with lines, I was going cross eyed on the last 2 laps as I could see Leonard Zinn from VeloNews and a Great Divide rider exchanging attacks behind me and making forward progress. Lee from Green Mtn Sports came by me through the Start Finish, I hung on his wheel until the run ups and make a valiant effort to pass, we were side by side on the remount and straightaway heading to an uphill, off camber left hand turn where I tried to sneak in inside and pimp him in the turn but it was not to be and ended up pushing the limits of traction on the slick grass, sliding out. I rolled through in 30th out of 46 something starters. Dang, I am so stoked on my effort but frustrated in that I like to get a mid pack finish. This 45+ group is tough and mighty humbling, but I'm enjoying it more than ever and I know it's making me a better racer. I'll take solace in the fact that I was the 2nd Cat 4 guy to finish and the first one won State Championships last year in the 35+4 group.

Thanks to all for vocalizing their support out there, especially the Frites clan. This poor group was resembling an infirmary outing with all the injuries sustained as of late. I hope you guys are on the mend. Great job to all who volunteered and put on a fine event. I hope next year for a few more food/beer vendors. By the time we finished our race, the parking lot had completely emptied and we found that most everyone had migrated down to the Chipotle down the road. It'd be nice to be able to linger at the site and pick up a brat and/or a waffle and yell at the pro field or least watch how it's really done.

The plan is to take next week off, we're traveling for Thanksgiving and I'll do my best to not load on all things tasty in order to be somewhat prepared for our state championships on the 5th. Then a quick bike and gear wash before everything gets packed up for Bend. I'm booked and looking forward to trying not to embarrass myself too badly.

Thanks for reading


1 comment:

Michael Vose said...

Sounds like you are going well, and having fun doing it. Right on track for Nat's. Looking forward to seeing you there.