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CCCX Race #5, Toro Park

10/21/2013, 12:30pm PDT
By Chris Gaffney

4th

Toro park provides a great setting for cyclocross. The course is hard packed and fast. The technical sections are short steep dips and ramps with lots of loose sand. Depending on the year the back side of the course has a huge run up or a big climb. This year we climbed.

It was a small field with a fairly wide open start, so staring position was not that  important. I got a call up which put me into the second row. From the start I was able to slot into about 5th. . As we got to the first turn I was able to pass one rider. I am now in 4th riding behind Henry Krammer, Cal Giant, the 55+ world champion and Tod Hoefer, Cal Giant, a former Masters national champion and Keith Defibre our race promoter and good cx rider. The pace did not seem that fast and I was waiting for riders to start passing me. No one passed. Keith started to slow down and I was able to pass him. I still hadn't looked back; I was determined to stay on Henry’s wheel. I still felt like the pace was not that high. When I finally looked back I could not see the next rider. I couldn't believe it; I was riding comfortably with guys who have been killing me for the past 3 years.

As we finished lap one I was able to ride away from Henry and Tod without putting myself in any trouble. As I was getting close to the end of the second lap I had a 10-15 second advantage. Unfortunately, the laps ends on a couple of long straightaway’s that are into the wind. With 5 laps to go I knew I couldn't stay away from Tod and Henry because they were working together. I slowed down and got some rest until they caught me. Shortly after they caught me I fell on a low speed sharp turn. That allowed Tod to get a 5 sec gap, Henry was behind me. I started chasing and was closing the gap when my front tire washed out again. I had to unclip but didn't fall. At that point I think Henry was frustrated following me and made a hard attack while I was getting clipped in. Henry caught Tod pretty quickly and they started working together to extend the gap. I couldn't catch Henry or Tod and was riding a cx time trial by myself. Every once in a while I would pass someone from the 35’s. On the 5 th lap I could see a chaser from my field. I still had a good gap and was not too worried about getting caught.

At the start of the 7th and final lap my front tire washed out again. Unfortunately this time I dropped my chain.  I got passed as I was getting my chain back on and had to run up a short hill before I started chasing. I was gassed by the time I got going, but chased as hard as I could. I couldn't catch the Buy-Cell rider and totally blew a chance at a podium position. 

Tag(s): Race Reports