Well, another weekend of cyclocross racing is complete, and while it was fun and all, I don't feel like I have a lot offer race-report-wise. I was sorely tempted to just forego the boring details of my weekend's racing and go with the "Bangable Under-23 Dudes in OVCX" post that I've been contemplating since some anonymous sources brought up the subject last week. Let's face it; it would be pretty hilarious, except for the whole embarrassing the crap out of everyone involved part. I mean, everyone loves a good parody of a satire and all, but I've deciding to limit my mud-slinging to the cyclocross course only.
To paraphrase Colt: It's not creepy, it's cyclocross. Man, I miss "Who's #1?"
Anyway, Saturday I raced the ICX finale at Trader's Point, and Sunday was the OVCX John Bryan race in Ohio. Both were a lot closer to legitimate mud races than we've had all year and were great reminders of why I love racing in mud.
Saturday started off beautifully as I passed Rebecca Zink through the slop early in the first lap and almost had myself convinced that I might be able to stay there until the end, but while I made it to the top of the muddy run-up first and bombed down unclipped kamikaze-style, I found that it left me completely redlined as we passed back through the start/finish area. I was left with three more laps of torture and a lot of thoughts about how awesome racing in mud is if, you know, you have the power for it. Unfortunately, even for a good mud rider, this can happen when you lose your focus:
Sunday's course was one of my least favorites from 2011. I mostly just remembered a constant feeling of riding spongy slog up a never-ending 2% grade with not a lot of technical turning, save a little snippet of singletrack. This year was a lot more turny and covered in slick, sloppy mud. While I didn't get off the line that well and struggled on the 2% drag to the first turn, I was actually amazed at how easily I was moving up at the beginning of the race. I was basically just letting my bike go, hitting all the good lines that the girls in front of me weren't taking, and making up places pretty easily. Of course, the straight draggy parts had to come eventually, and I fell off the pace.
Luckily for me but unluckily for her, I came across a girl running her bike right before the pits with about a lap and a half to go. She made a quick bike exchange and came out of the pits a bike length or two ahead. I accelerated to get into the singletrack first and was able to hold off a normally faster rider for the remaining lap and a half. (Yay for not last!) Sure the mechanical allowed me to catch up and she was probably demoralized, but she did have a functional bike by the time I got to her, so I'm going to call it good on my part.
So Sunday will bring the final race of the season. I'll be sad that it's over, but I'm also looking forward a fresh start in the new year. I can't wait to get back in the gym, put in some base miles, and look forward to "racing for not last" being a thing of the past.