Saturday, October 1, 2011

Production value

I snapped some pictures of the Masters' race. The complete album is HERE. Below are some highlights.

I like this one for some reason.

Record temperatures for October---dry and dusty.

The 35+ race leader, I think.

The wide, hard-packed, dry, and flat course suited me. And this style of course has been rare during my time in Ottawa, where the courses were very difficult and muddy, and ironically much hillier than Utah. The state fair park course was fast, and demanded precise cornering. It was more of a race than in Ottawa, where I often felt like I was just trying to survive.

Familiar faces: It was Dr. Cross himself, one back in the Contender kit, who put on a cross clinic up at the U, which was my first introduction to CX about 8 years ago. 

After a three-year hiatus in Canada, I'm stateside. God bless America---racing in the B-category.

I had a great race. I came out from the third row start into a sprint, forming up with a 6-man chase group for 3rd. The chase drove a hard pace, and some were making wide sketchy corners, so I backed off to recover and ride my own race more efficiently. As the chase went away, it broke up. On the last lap I could see a mass of riders bearing down on me, but luckily I was recovered, so I started accelerating hard out of every corner and going into the red. That got rid of all but one, who on the final set of corners tried to make a go of it. I kept my line through the corners, and wound up for the straightaway and flew. The announcers said 4th place out of 36 B-men. I'm not sure if that's my actual result, but its something to build off of...

So it was great to be back, see familiar faces, and race in a group where I felt like there was some real sporting competition. Compared to Ottawa, the production value is much higher (race fees are also higher). There were announcers, sponsor tents, many times more people in an ever-burgioning number of categories, and most warming up on trainers (including me). Now you could go there in the morning and tailgate with a barbecue and party till late afternoon...

As I said before, the course designs in Utah are slightly easier in my experience, and that makes the racing more tactical (for my skill level at at least): rather than just providing numerous ways to screw up, the course also presented opportunities to get things right to varying degrees.

The Utah series has grown a lot in the last three years, with but it still has a really friendly atmosphere. See you next weekend!

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