Monday, November 5, 2007

wayne scott cross

I was planning to take the easy way out Saturday and race the C event...but then flatted not halfway through the first lap and that was the end of that. I haven't got around to putting cross tires on a pair of old wheels yet. I need to do this.

Luckily, since the C race is first, I had plenty of time to fix my flat and register for the B race. Which I did. And my four points at Hagerstown were enough to earn me a call-up--so Saturday marked my first front-row start.

Three firsts, actually: First cross-related pinch-flat. First call-up. First front-row start. First time fully taking out a course fence post in a crash.

Never one to miss an opportunity to foil fortune, I squandered my opportunity for a great start, and after about 100 yards I was right where I'm used to starting--a few places from riding clean-up. After two laps, I had passed all those that were easily passed and spent the next three laps gaining and losing ground to a slowly disintegrating larger group ahead of me. Near the end of the final lap I made it around two more riders, one of which hung on my wheel and sprinted around me at the finish.

I finished 14th. The first and second place finishers had quite a gap on everyone else, but there was less than a minute between me and third place. So...how much time did I lose negotiating my way around slower riders during those first two laps? Man, I really suck at these cross starts. I'm going to spend a whole day this week practicing these starts.

Unless you chose to ride through the very long sand pit, the course had four dismounts per lap. That's a lot.

I felt fast over the barriers.

Despite several opinions to the contrary, I fail to see any reason to take off my water bottle cages. Perhaps if I were committed to the traditional CX carry method then I'd understand, but I see no wisdom, and only shoulder bruising, in that method. So until I'm convinced otherwise, I'm sticking with the cages. Living life as a resistance against the machine...

The course went through a horse stable.

My bike is pretty.

7 comments:

ehyde said...

You were going to race C even with a front row call up in the B's? Were you going to stop at the sand pit and fill up some bags?!?!?

vfg said...

Four firsts.
Pretty pics :)

Anonymous said...

Zing!
How do you carry your bike up the run ups if not the traditional way?
-Josh

goat said...

Evan--

Here's the quandary: Even though series points are awarded down to 15th place (thus the call-up), upgrade points are only award down seven places (or is it six?). So, if I want to upgrade, it's a lot easier to do in the C races. Plus, I like to win. :-)

Josh--

With a hand on the top tube, arm bent at the elbow. For me, this is a much more natural way to hold my bike and it doesn't hurt my shoulder.

vandyman said...

Can you fill me in on how exactly you crash into the fence post on the start? I am trying to conceptualize this.

Also, how is your start position in the cyclocross determined? Is the start always dismounted with a run, or what? I'm trying to understand what technique isn't carrying over from road racing.

goat said...

The crash into the fence post was later.

Cyclocross races are all (generally) part of a series. So start position is determined by your previous finishes in that series. Or it's not. Sometimes it's determined by the order you registered, or some combination thereof, or maybe something else entirely.

The difference in starting between cyclocross and road racing is huge. In a road race it doesn't really matter (usually) if you start off in the back. Generally starts aren't so super quick and even if they are, there's time to move around in the pack and figure out where you want to be. Though you might miss a break if you're riding in the back.

In cyclocross you're almost immediately riding in a course where you have to be single-file and there are limited opportunities to pass. Single-file riding means that if a rider up anywhere can't hold the pace, a gap can open that you can't do anything about until you pass everyone between you and the gap. So CX starts are crazy all-out sprints. Everyone wants to be close to the front going into that first turn. Road races aren't really like that at all.

gwadzilla said...

sounds like your style is working

maybe the shoulder carry would make more sense in a longer event

like the three peaks event

ah...
suitcase carry

or

the brief case if you have a compact frame!