Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2008 Kansas Cyclocross Championships

Weaving through the "Spin Zone"
Last Sunday was the Kansas Cyclocross Championship at St. Marys University in Leavenworth KS. The course was laid out great, with a nice mix of cobblestone, dirt run ups, sweeping down hills, a "Twister Turn" that spiraled in then out and of course barriers.

The start (Click on start for the youtube video I am in black left side of screen) lead us up a slight incline over
ancient cobblestones laid in a weave pattern that shook the bike and impeded rolling. After the whistle blew I quickly accelerated and moved into second going into the grass. The first turn I cut inside the leader, got out of the saddle and powered to the front. After a sharp, off camber corner, the course lead up slightly then down hill. Midway through the descent I met my demise; the first set of barriers.

Rounding the corner heading into the barriers I was supposed to slow down and prepare for the dismount. Unfortunately, I did not feather the brakes enough and tried to dismount while going faster then I could run.

Looks worse then what it was
Forward the video to 1:35 and watch for 25 seconds

My left foot clipped the barrier sending my bike into the air and me into a superman flight pattern. The lead was "gone with my wind"; staggering I mounted the bike and lost a few spots.

Joe in the "Twister Turn"
Once on the Cobblestone road coming back up the hill I blew up. Everyone was passing me, Larry Smith streaked by me, Todd and a few other people I wanted to beat. The next few laps were miserable, don't even remember parts of them. After the third lap I started to real in a few riders including my neighbor Todd. With two laps to go I was seven seconds behind and needed to make a move.

My traditional strengths of rolling downhill was not working for me. The turns were not technical enough to challenge riders; giving everyone a free pass down the hill. I had to attack on the cobblestone coming back up the hill. Each time I got out of the saddle and powered up the hill, closing the gap slightly on each lap. I caught Todd and a few others near the end of the fifth lap. When I heard the bell lap I drew some more energy and tried to put distance between me and the other riders.

Joe in the "Twister Turn"
On the last lap I caught a few more people, rounded the last corner and sprinted to the finish taking a disappointing 17th place. Not the most exciting finish or best race I have had, but I am making improvements. The key to this year and beyond is learning my limits, how to prepare and how to recover.

More pictures from the Race:

Josh Taylor makes a turn

Mark "Stud"nicki

Kyle hanging with Mark

Kyle "my kit matches my bike" Bush

Ted on the dirt run up

My teammate Larry shows how its done
Lifting his feet over the barriers

Cameron cruises to fourth place

1 comment:

  1. It didn't dawn on me till now that Kyle's kit match his bike. I'm really beginning to wonder about his masculinity. There should be rules against that in cross.