Friday, November 23, 2007

Lan Oaks

Chicago Cross Cup series race #5 took us to Lansing, IL and Lan Oaks park.

Brrrr... finally winter starts to settle in, and the weather is getting more 'cross-like. Temps in the low 40s, but still dry.

This was a roadies course if ever there was one. Flat, flat, and more flat. Wide turns require minimal cornering skill, and onle two sets of barriers. And a looooon, deep sand pit, but even it was ridable with enough speed.

Again I raced Masters and Cat4. I used the Masters race as a good warm up and familierization session. 10 minutes into this race and I was ready to drop out. I just didn't have it in the legs, and as this was an all out leg-fest, I feard I'd having noting at all for my second race. But I stuck with it, found a gear that worked, and just worked on smooth barriers, and even worked a little on working with other riders. This is a skill that i MUST foster if I want to have any success in cross. I finished near the back in 19th, but that's about the effort I gave.

The Cat4a race again saw 40+ racers at the start line. And as usual they lined up with 15 minutes to go, refusing to give up a front row position. And this time, I was one of the lucky ones on the front who wasn't gonna budge!

At the start we were bunched pretty good, and there was a lot of jostling for position. This is where I usually play it safe and passive, and lost lots of places right off the bat. But this time I stuck with it, and was sitting 5th going into the first turn. From this point on the goal was to grab a wheel and try and hold it as long as possible. Aggressive in the first lap at all costs. "You're not gonna blow up" I kept telling myself. I did get dropped by a number of riders up front, but then settled into a battle with about 3 riders for the second half of the race.

I was forced to run the sand pit each lap, as there was always too much traffic in front of me to reliably be able to blast through. This was ok, though, as I didn't lose any ground to the guys that were riding it. I put in a few good attachs in the straights after the pit, and even dropped a couple guys. In the end I finished up around 15th. Alas the folks who put on the race seem to have lost any record of me, as I don't appear in the final standings. I was too busy changing and getting warm to be able to get over to check the prelim results, and the final results were not posted when I left. I never worry about a place here or there b/c I'm never in contention, but I never expected to be left out of the results altogether. If any of the 4a's out there are reading, and you finished in front of or behind the guy with the black XXX jacket with Orange Sweep XC helmet and blue Raliegh, please let me know what place you were so I can figure out where I finished. I know it was around 15-17...

Anyway, I'm back in MI for Thanksgiving. Good times. Gonna hit the KissCross race at Richmond Park in Grand Rapids, MI on the way home. Looking forward for a different paced event from the ChiCross Cup races. I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

Gotta run, almost out of Juice!!

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Blogger SMH said...

24/11/07 10:58 PM  
Blogger paula said...

There's a Lansing, Illinois? Weird.

7/12/07 5:56 PM  

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