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CCCX Cyclocross, Race #2

09/19/2013, 12:00pm PDT
By Chris Gaffney

6th in field including a World Champion

CCCx #2 Fort Ord

Sept  15, 2013

Men’s 45 A’s

6th/22 

This was my first weekend of racing for the 2013-14 cx season. Fort Ord is a familiar course. We race there 3-4 times a year. No surprises, fast, dry course with a climb and lots of loose corners. It was really exciting to see all the big winners from last year show up in their World and National championship colors. 3 World champions, Karen Brems, Don Myrah and Henry Kramer. Yannick Eckman racing for Cal Giant is the U23 National Champion. 

Unfortunately my first day of racing was a disaster. I did not get a great start position so I had to fight through a lot of traffic to make contact with the leaders. After 2 hard laps of chasing I was just catching on to the back of the leading group when I flatted. As luck would have it, I had just passed the pit. You can’t go backwards on a cross course so I had to run over a mile to get back to my pit bike. I finished last but didn’t get lapped, small victory.

Day 2 was much better. I was lucky to get a decent start position. It was a very crowded start and getting through the first 3 corners in the front would be important. I managed to stay in the top 6-7 riders through the first few turns.  

A large group formed right from the start stayed bunched for the first 2 laps. The end of the climb had a short steep section where riders were slowing down. Although it was narrow this turned out to be a good place to pass, if you weren’t to gassed from the climb. At my new riding weight, 5 lbs less than last year, I was actually able to pass riders on the climb. After 2 laps things started to string out. I was able to get on the wheel of a former national championship podium finisher and got a free ride for about a lap and a half. With about 21/2 laps to go the pace was getting to fast and I just couldn’t keep the wheel in front of me. As I looked back I had a good gap to the next rider.

I just needed to ride safe and climb fast to maintain the gap. I ended up in no man’s land riding by myself. This required a lot more energy on the straight away sections. I was beginning to close the gap on a rider that was drifting backwards off the lead group. It gave me a good target to focus on. Although I never caught the rider in front of me, chasing him helped preserve the gap I established to the riders behind me. I managed to finish about 30 seconds in front of the next rider. 

Tag(s): Race Reports