Supercross CX 2013 Bitchez
Supercross 3/4 Day Two RR
At staging there were no butterflies in my stomach, no pre-race jitters, and no nervous fidgets. This was not because I wasn’t nervous or anxious to get on with racing, it was because I was so damn cold and numb that it was hard to feel anything at all. The sun was beginning to set when the whistle blew, and the sub-freezing temperature found it easy to penetrate my wool socks and layers of gloves. An example of how windy it was that day…
I was able to secure a nice spot in third during the initial sprint. After the first set of uphills and technical taped sections, the field thinned out quite a bit. Having already raced the 2/3/4 race earlier in the day I was content with sitting on someone’s wheel. First place was in sight and so I conserved my energy. About two laps in, I executed the pass on second place, and then I settled in sitting on first place’s wheel while we gapped third and fourth place.
After another few laps I surged first place on the stair climb. From there I turned on the afterburners and managed to establish a sizable gap that I was able to hold until the end of the race.
A Kruis CX rider and a Laughing Dog Cycles rider rode a great race and nabbed 2nd and 3rd respectively. Being under 21, I was unable to receive a bottle of champagne for my win, but I still received an awesome swag bag.
Earlier in the day Becca had a great, strong race in the UCI women’s race, sporting the her new, fancy Jam Fund/NCC kit! Jules Goguely from RISD Cycling gave a valiant effort in the UCI men’s race and was able to garner enough points for a front row call up at CX nationals. Jane Sherridan, also from RISD Cycling, gave an intense effort in the women’s 3/4 race and was able to hold onto win second place. This weekend was also Denise Thornberry and Jie Gao’s first CX races, so a big round of applause goes out to them as well!
The temperature is getting colder..bring on NBX CX!
Plymouth Cyclocross Festival Day Two RR
Driving to the Plymouth Cyclocross Festival was a rather silent event. Something about getting sexiled, sleeping through Saturday night dorm-party noise, and getting up at 5:30 will just silence a man. By the time we arrived at Plymouth high school, the rain that had been falling most of the early morning was beginning to lighten. It had rained the perfect amount to give spectators some good slip-ups to heckle over, but not enough to make the whole field of riders a swarm of crashes and carnage.
The course had changed quite a bit from the day before. The front half remained more or less the same — grass on grass on grass. The corners were wide and the the lanes were sizable allowing for a good place to bridge gaps. The back half of the course got quite a bit more technical. A wooded trail snaked down around trees and led to a couple climbs filled with loose dirt that opened back up into the grassy zone. The lap ended with a steep hill that descended to barriers.
We arrived around 7:45 for a 9:00 race. We were taking no chances after Cycle-Smart’s morning fiasco of people scurrying to find rides and wheels bouncing around on the highway — no comment. After a few pre-rides and a few bathroom runs, the men’s Cat. 4 field gathered at the start.
From what I could tell, there were no immediate crashes in the first half mile of the race. That is a first from my experience in Cat. 4 racing! Of course the first hill bottle-necked the field and allowed a lead pack of around nine riders to break away from the field. With the exception of one or two dropped riders, the main pack played cat and mouse throughout the rest of the race. One or two men would break away and the pack would chase them down, and then someone else would try and break away and the same thing would happen. Ground was made up in the technical sections and the steep climbs that often ended with loose sand.
By the last lap, one rider broke away and formed a ten second gap on the main pack. Myself (Alex) and another rider put on the afterburners and went to catch him. When he hit the pavement leading up to the finish line we were only a few seconds behind him. We gunned it, caught him, and the three of us sprinted for the line. I was lucky enough to walk away with the win by less than a second — a mere bike throw.
Our fellow RISD compatriot, Alex Babala, unfortunately flatted nowhere near the pit and had to perform the running lap of shame. Luckily for him, he had a great race the previous day. Providence local, Kevin White, who is becoming an integral part of the Brown/RISD cycling squadra had an amazing day of racing. After not pre-registering in time and having to start in the back of the field, he fought his way up to twelfth place overall.
After two great days of racing, here are some general tips I thought I would share:
1. Don’t be afraid to run that steep “rideable” climb. It is better to commit fully to running than realize halfway through that your back wheel is spinning out. During the first lap it may even be better to run because it causes everyone behind you trying to ride it to hop off their bikes awkwardly and lose momentum.
2. Take corners tape to tape.
3. ALWAYS utilize the free food and snack handouts from vendors. You never know when you may need to live off Clif Bars.