06 November 2005

FIAC National CX Championships, Watsonville

Woke up late, throat was scratchy, bed was warm, outside was freezing but mapquest said it was only fifty one minutes so I had to give it a go.

Teammates: Michael Schaller, someone else in the under 35 B's, Joe Fabris in the 45 A's. Steve Stewart and Chris Daugherty showed up and both decided not to race.
Friendly rivals: Mark from PenVelo, Curt Ferguson and son Jeremy in the juniors.

The course was mostly flat but not totally flat. One uphill runup took me twenty seconds and the bigger runup took about thirty seconds. Two barrier sections on flat parts of the course to force dismounts and one four foot wide set of stairs with eight steps to run up. Showed up an hour early and the laps were so long I only had time to do two slow warmup laps. Did a lap on the bike with the 35mm Ritchey SpeedMax and one lap on the bike with 42mm Ritchey Zed's mounted. At race speed it took me about ten minutes per lap.

Took it easy at the start and was almost last, right where I needed to be!, going in the first 180 and started picking off riders including Mike who went wide at the first 180 and was getting thrown around by the bumpy surface hidden by the grass. Caught some riders at the first barriers shortly after that. Then we went into the chicane in between a few shipping containers where I lost my nerve and had to brake, doh. Then a long grass section, barriers, 180 turn to a gravel rolling section, 180 turn to a gravel downhill, 90 turn on grass to uphill, barriers, twenty second run up, short gravel road to a loop of a rodeo arena on dirt to a short set of stairs!, sweeping left turn, then a sweeping downhill right turn onto grass, then uphill then 180 downhill, then a 90 left to the in and out around the stables to a zig zag until the thirty second runup with a six inch barrier at the bottom, then a longer grass section, 180 left then a last set of barriers, then sixty meters to the finish line. One really wanted to have company on the long flat section around the rodeo track. I was able catch then hang with Curt and the Steelman guy for the most of the first lap, lost them on a 180 downhill turn on gravel, then caught and passed them on the long run up, then they passed me back. The next lap I was able to ride with Curt again, this time for most of the rest of the lap, passing him on the run up. This time the Steelman fellow caught me after I passed the start finish and I could not reel him in, seeing him a short distance ahead. During this lap I thought my front wheel was losing air or something was loose - it was my headset, and this jostled the PowerTap CPU loose so this is why I only had 2.5 laps of the race recorded.

I did really well on the longer uphill runups as I was able to catch and pass folks but that probably killed my legs for a good time duration as it took quite a while to get up to speed after each of them.

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