Last race of the yr, Capital Cross Classic. One of my favorites. I was not able to do this race last yr so I was really looking forward to this. Got a good start on my drive down. Ominous clouds on the way, driving thru some sketchy sections of road and some heavy snow squalls. Yea, baby!
Get there and the park is changed a bit. It is windy as shit and cold; don't mind the cold but I hate the wind. I scramble to get ready and realize it's like 9:27 and my race starts at 10. Although this was better than Mike G (who took my bike to the pits-thx!) who arrived at this time for his 9am race...
I got an OK warm up and headed for a bit of a pre-ride. Not much mud; mostly frozen ground. I line up pretty far back, the whistle is blown and we're off. I pass a bit on the twisted section after the start. Did I mention the wind was brutal? The barriers are a bit clogged up but I get thru OK. A new section twists down past a little stream then a steep section. Bam. My legs feel like lead. I climb like a lead baloon. Get out and head across the lake and up the run up which is longer this yr. Legs feel OK going up this. There is a bottle-neck going up that nasty gravel climb. I biff a bit but keep going. The single track is really dry and hard to come across that nasty off camber left. Thru that, down the hill and thru the twisty flat seection by the start/finish. A bit of mud there so the corners were a bit sketchy. Up some pavement and up a steep climb. This would kill me. If I'd have known this I probably would have swapped out my 40t for my 38. Next yr. Down a sweeping rt hander, thru some trees and up to do it all over again. I got passed a bit on the climbs but did OK on the flats; this race at least allows you to recover a bit. "Lithuainia" kept egging me on; he's a good guy. My left shoe's top latch loosened and I contemplated stopping to fix it but instead rode on; I doubt it affected me much. Bob Perna, who has been riding great, passed me w/ 1 lap to go. I eventually caught him on the s/f line (he got a flat-good for me!) Corey Twyman, who passed me on the 1st lap, was stopped going up the gravel climb. He said he almost lost it there and contemplated bagging it but got back on and finished. I was surprised when I saw the 2 laps to go sign-I figured 3 or 4. 43rd out of 58. Not a great result. Oh well. Also; Thor was ano show-sick all week and didn't want to push it in the arctic conditions. Don't blame him.
Now; Things I've learned this yr to improve on next:
1) gotta get to the races earlier-need a better warm up
2) I need to get some better bike handleing skills
3) Maybe gear down a bit-I rode faster this yr but I would have benefited from a lower climbing gear in some races
4) keep at it-I'm improving. But I thinkI can't say that I don't suck. Yet.