Teammates: Bob S.
Friendly rivals: Benoit, Juan
Since tapering didn't seem to help my performance for the last two races I decided to just enjoy the bike on Saturday and did a 90+ mile ride with the LGBRC proto crew, didn't seem to affect my performance today, either.
Cool temps and overcast skies greeted us at registration, so we're getting closer to real cyclocross weather, at least for here. The course was changed up a bit, for the better in my opinion, reversing the hill near the tennis courst from previous years, and adding a new section over some culverts into some unused fields. Bumpy but not like Hellyer, with a long gravel access road thrown in for some variety with a thirty step runup, and 100 meters of road for the final sprint, instead of the 50 meters of gravel we got last year.
Much smaller field than Pilarcitos, not sure why, so was able to get second row out of four on the start line. Since the race was shorter than the other two series, would have to start and go harder for the whole event.
I still could not convince myself to go hard at the start due to fear of blowing up so stayed with the others with a tiny bit of precarious front wheel right on someone elses skewer action even with only about thirty guys during the gravel road start.
During the first lap, I had to brake heavily to avoid hitting people from behind in most of the corners, managed to pass most of these guys by the second lap and behind a new group. There was quite a lot of back and forth action and the occasional super C from the second wave catching us. The runup was a bit long for my five second running sprint so I ended up making up most of my ground by not braking as much for the road corners, and the long fast descents. On the third lap one of the guys I passed in the first lap retook the lead and I ended up chasing him until the final straightaway and fell short by two seconds. Could see Bob S coming up on every long switchback and was surprised he did not catch me, was more surprised to learn this was his first cyclocross race!