Northern California Bicycle Racing Community
Today was the first race of the CCCX cross country race series. Last year's first race was very sloppy, wet and cold. This year was sunny and perfect. No one could have asked for better weather or course conditions!
The course varies from race to race, though laps are usually around 5 miles each. This course was pretty good for me, as it had some relatively steep climbs and a lot of great bermed singletrack through the woods. Not as many "roady" sections where it helped a lot to be in a draft.
The race was 5 laps with the usual paved sprint to the singletrack. I went into this in second, but it sounds like there was a washout about 5 back where someone fell onto McNaughty's bike and broke a spoke on his front wheel. We settled into the required "train" for the first lap, slowly dropping a few riders. A seperation was made and there were four of us at the front: Corey Ward (Team Chico), Alex (on a 'cross bike,Rock Lobster), Brian (VOS), and me.
The pace was pretty fast but manageable. I moved to the front on the second lap to slow things a little and see how the others would react. Seems like everyone was okay with a little slower pace. I hoped that Mcnaughty might reconnect, but I didn't see him. Things moved along allright for the next lap and a half, the four of us trading the lead and ripping the superfast descents. I was getting a workout, but rarely in the red zone. I sprinted hard a few times on some climbs to see how the other guys were doing, but would always slow afterwards to bring my heart rate back down. The weather was warm and I drank and ate with regularity, preparing to open things up when it seemed like the right time.
About half way through the third lap, the time came. I moved to the front right before one of the climbs and kicked her in the guts! That seemed to do a good job of halving the group, but Alex was hanging tough within sight on his cyclocross bike. I built my lead a little more and then had fun riding the fast bermed S's on the last half of the course without too much pressure.
I finished strong and Alex came in about a minute later. Brian came in next, followed by McNaughty who was sliding every corner with a foot out. He had flatted his front tire about 5 minutes from the finish and ridden it in!
Overall a great early season race and "good practice for the real thing". The 1x9 Superfly worked great (36x11-34) and the new XX brakes were solid.
Vital stats:24.62 miles, 1hr 38 min, 2500 ft of climbing, 15mph avg speed, 26.7mph max speed, 162 bpm avg HR, 178 bpm max HR - 1st Place Pro, $50 prize money!