Monday, November 14, 2011

2nd, 2nd, 7th, 5th, 12th, 11th, 36th, 16th

I guess I have some catching up to do on the 'ole blog. Looking at the results on the top of the you might think I have been getting slower, but the quality of the racing I have done has gotten better and better these last 4 weeks. I still might be getting slower, but at least my ranking has been rising! I left off right before the Ohio State Championships which were placed much earlier in the year this year. So here we go:

States' Day 1: Saturday was age group championship racing. I was in the 17-18 year old group since in cross you are approximately 43 years older than you are in real life. I got a good start and figured riding away from everyone would be my tactic. But, tactics did come into play in all the races as the course was far too easy. My buddy Sam Dobrozsi had good legs and was able to stay with me all day, that usually never happens.. I had no legs and couldn't get away without any really hard sections. Short story short, I screwed up the sprint and Sam won. That wasn't too embarrassing but having it be such a tactical race that 3 single speeds got by us kind of was. States' Day 2: I was out for revenge. I knew I had good legs the second I got on my bike. Unfortunately, that bike started to fall apart on my even before the start. My right pedal's spring suddenly was loose on the line so I had a bad front row start. Also, my shifter started getting the all-too-common, I AM GOING TO BREAK SOON! Like any idiot, I tried to avoid this but had to change bikes after two laps. But, when you have good legs, who cares?! I can do a half lap in my 11t, this course is flat! I swapped bikes and was still able to make the lead group of Bruce and I. We traded some pulls and got a pee-break established gap. Everyone was screaming, "SANDBAGGERZ!" at us. I didn't like it very much. I thought I had Bruce under pressure so the last two laps I kept digging in my sections but he kept coming back. I guess we were both riding zone two those first five laps....Then in the sprint for the final sector (which was basically the sprint for the race) we got a little argy-bargy and I backed off like an idiot. Bruce led onto the pavement and won. 2nd place, twice. That wasn't anywhere near what I came to do...

Next up was Brett's weekend at his parent's place. The course suits me well and I felt like abusing myself after my idiotic showing at States'.

Brett's Day 1: I continued my dumb riding, but I took the "abusing myself" idea a little too literal crashing sooo much, sooo hard. I guess it was really my first 'muddy' race of the year so that is my excuse. It was halloween day so don't think I race in my prepboy-twining-costume (and of course destroyed falling in the river- that is why it is called Chagrin River Festival I suppose) I still ended up 7th, my best NEOCX race up til then, but more because the turnout was a little light for the A race than me riding well. Brett's Day 2: I started well and was riding with The Paul Martin for the first three laps in 4th and 5th until I rolled my fancy tire off the rear rim. I let some air out and gingerly rode 1/4 of a lap to the pit when I switched to my less aggressive tire-d bike. But, the course was drying out a good bit and I started riding even harder. I rode through 7th place (pictured below) and eventually caught back up to Paul before the ride-able logs. I kept my pace smooth and Paul let me have 5th place, my first semi-podium in an NEOCX race. Next up were two very highly attended UCI events in Cincy3 and Louisville USGP. I was doing the cat 2/3 race since I am a loser and didn't buy a UCI license to race the P-R-O junior category. Since I am going for perfect attendance this year at school, we shot down Friday night to both races. So, in turn, we got to miss my least favorite course on day 1 uci3.

UCI3 Day 2: This is such an awesome course that Sam and his dad put together each year. I had a pretty good start and just rode steady for 45 minutes trying to save as much gas as possible for Sunday. Flecher was back and forth from crashing, rolling tires, and just general suckage at the front so we eventually were riding together trying to catch 10th place. We didn't catch Mayhew, my secret nemesis, but we sprinted it out for 11th, with Greg winning the epic sprint by inches. Flecher was pumped he beat 14 year-old superstar Ian, also! If you look at my expression, I clearly let Greg have this sprint and wanted to be nice to him after he had a bad ride. I was pleased with 11th hoping I would have best legs ever at Harbin on Sunday.

UCI3 Day 3: A lot of fresh legs showed up, and although mine weren't the best ever, I rode the hardest I have ever ridden. Plain and simple, I suffered like no tomorrow out there. I was loosing five seconds a lap to everyone on the power climb but just kept chugging up to 9th place!!! But, as I do in every race, I had to screw up a nice result and crashed with a little of a lap to go and two more lamb chop fellow, including Mayhew, got by me. I ended up 11th which I was once again ok with knowing the course isn't exactly my style and I didn't have best legs ever. That brings us to this past weekend, the third stop on the USGP series, in Louisville Kentucky. Being the site for worlds, along with being part of a national series, there were some HUGE fields each day. Saturday and Sunday I would partake in close to 120 rider cat 2/3 fields. Saturday I had a 5th row start and a 3rd row Sunday, even though I was #218 both days...

Louisville Day 1: I felt stuck at 70%. That feeling just stinks. I rode smooth after blowing up after trying to move up. So I just tried to stay with every group that passed (loosing ~20 spots in a 5 lap race, you get a lot of chances) and hoped I would make it to the line in one piece. I eventually finished, albeit hours after most in 36th. Louisville Day 2: BEST LEGS EVER! DUMBEST ROBERT YET! I was MR. AGGRO himself (captain aggressive) sunday at the start. Like mentioned, I started third row, behind the man himself, 14 year-old (racing age 57) Ian McShane. Ian drove our two man train to 7th and 8th spot by the first turn! I was pumped. Like so pumped I started passing more people and was 3rd by the flyover. Holy crap I am winning this thing is seriously what I thought. Then I rode into the back of second place and lost an instant 15 spots. I found Ian's wheel again though and we slithered back into the top 10. I was able to latch onto the lead group of 8 that formed on the second lap before some KCCX punk ate it right into me. There goes another 10 spots. After me freaking out for twenty seconds spent rolling on the ground, I got into a group of 3 riding for 14th spot with one and half laps to go. Man, so many places lost on such little mistakes. I was content with this, which was wrong, since I got mega-pinched in the last technical spot for a dismal 16th place. Well, dismal for BEST LEGS EVER! This one was a mega coulda-woulda-shoulda. Oof, I think top 10 was possible barring me being an idiot. Ok, that ends today's month catchup. Our final NEOCX race, and our final promotion of the year, is this sunday at Kirtland Park. Hopefully I will get you some updates on that Friday or Saturday.