Sunday, October 14, 2007

GP of Gloucester, day 1

We got there early so Ed could partake in the madness that was 125 cat. 4 men trying to negotiate a course together... after watching those shenanigans, I felt like anything was possible. The course was fast and dry, and the sand was completely rideable since it was slightly damp, creating a nice trail going through it. The B women went off at noon, and Anna was riding my bike again so I was rooting for her. She asked me, before the race, "should I try and sprint to the front? Or is that not even worth it?" I told her to go for it and not be surprised when she dusted everyone. I didn't see the women's start, but halfway through lap 1 Anna was already in the lead group, with one girl dangling out front by 20 seconds. A couple laps later, it was pretty clear Anna was going to win, and she did so in dominating fashion. "Am I technically allowed to race this category? What is the worst they can do? Disqualify me?" Ah, conscience, but this was her second cross race so I think its totally legit.

After the killer B's went off, I got in a couple laps of the course, and then went to line up. Linnea and I were in the very last row, of approximately 5 or 6 rows. I wasn't nervous until I stood there and got really, really, scared. Lynne Bessette had just had an awesome race with the B men, but she was probably going to do it again... and I really didn't want to get lapped.

I had a fairly relaxed start, moving past a couple people and then getting stuck with the train of riders going around corners waaaay too slowly. I stayed calm, mostly, and when we got to a slightly steep runup, one girl dabbed and then kind of fell over, and I snuck around on the inside, while Linnea got caught behind her. I was pretty much constantly moving up through the first lap, and by lap 2 I was falling in with a small group with Melody Chase and Kat Carr, with Kim Blodgett just behind me. We picked off one or two other riders, but mostly just stayed in that order. I found that I was a LOT faster in the run-up (oh, if only it were longer...), pretty good on the corners and in the sand, and absolutely atrocious on the little uphill road part. It was like my life force was slowly being sucked out of me the longer I spent on that pavement. I would get gapped there, because my legs are unable to unleash the mad watts that these people who ride bikes have at their disposal, and then I would make it up on the corners afterwards using this secret trick called momentum. Ahh, physics.

Coming through the bell lap, I felt like hell (but thats normal in a cross race, no?). But there were so many people out there screaming themselves hoarse for me that I fought, and kept trying to move up. Past the pits I noticed that there was another Velo-Bella ahead of us, it looked strangely like Anna Milkowski, but I had just heard the announcers talking about how she was having such a great race, so this couldn't be her... apparently, she blew up. So, we hit the pavement for the last time, and Kat accelerates away from us the way road racers apparently know how to do (I knew I should have actually raced this summer), and Kim went ahead of me without even trying, and I settled for third in our little pack... I don't know if there were more people close to us, but I beat Anna Milkowski, and its not like she had a mechanical. That must have sucked for her. Anyway, I finished in 28th, of 48 starters (I think? Maybe more?). I like that.

So then we watched the elite men, and my parents were fully introduced to the craziness that is cyclocross. My mom really fell for Tim Johnson, she was rooting for him like crazy. And then we ate lobster and life was good.

1 comment:

Colin R said...

i forgot to heckle you for that seated "sprint" you did at the end there. consider yourself heckled. don't give me any crap about not being a roadie, i know you have fast twitch abilities, that's all you need.