Monday, September 27, 2010

Race Report and Complaint Section - Ed Sander's Memorial Cyclocross Race

Post race beer and waffles.
Well, this will at least be an interesting race report. First and foremost, hats off to the promotors for Ed Sander’s Race, it was awesome. The venue is great, the course was a blast and thanks to Lily Pons for letting us have the race there. Nothing like post pace beer and waffles.

I entered the CAT 4 race and was ready to roll for the 9AM start, but like most 9AM starts, things get off a little slow. I am assuming that was the reason why our 40 minute race was shortened, but that is okay, I understand the issues. I had a decent spot for the start of the race and entered the hole shot around tenth, I gave a few positions up and then caught a few. Cross Results predicted that I should finish around 61st in the field of 100, but I ended up 24th. So yes, I am very happy about that.

Now the complaints. First, why is the CAT 4 race not considered within the MABRA series race? Second, what could be done about the sandbaggers??

So for the first complaint. I have spent the last hour of so reading the 2010/2011 USAC Rulebook I have seen nothing that would suggest that we could not participate in the series, any differently than the other 16 classes. Why can there not be an overall champion, why could we not track the series points? I find this to be a very interesting situation since the CAT 4 race is SOLD OUT every race. I am not asking for jerseys or grand prizes but you would think the crowd that filled every race would get something other than USAC upgrade points. Oh, without the series, doesn't the top five in the race get USAC points anyway? just sayin’. Maybe the concern is that the top position would be taken by the sandbaggers, well guess what? It already is. Which brings me to the second complaint, sandbaggers.

Unfortunately, upgrading from 4 to 3 does not have the same rules as the others. Basically, 10 qualifying races or 10 upgrade points, no mandatory upgrades. Unlike 3 to 2 and 2 to 1, we do not have the “win 2” CAT up clause. Hopefully this year will be a little better than last and with the addition of most of us looking at, peer pressure might kick in. I have a buddy of mine bitching about my upgrade. Yes I have exceeded my 10 races over the last three years, just verified on cross results, I am sitting at 20 races, 16 in the Midwest and 4 In the MidAtlantic, but my highest finish out here is 24th (Sunday). So I am not a threat to front and CAT 4 is probably where I should be, for now. But if you look at some of my fellow 4s in which they have equally as many races but have 3 wins or 12 of their races in the top 25% or well you get the point, race the 3/4s. Fine, you can say I am whining and instead of blogging I should be in the garage on the trainer spinning, but today is a recovery day, so I thought I should take a few minutes and speak my words, so to speak. Maybe each week I will have a sandbaggers list.... Would that help?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Race Report - Charm City Cross - Day 1

In order to get Charm City by a 7:30, get number and warmup, it required and early 5 AM wake up call. Not too bad but still a little early. I rolled into the Druid Hill Park, picked up my race number and went out for a warmup. The weather could not have been nicer.

Around 7:45 we all headed to the start line. The call up was based on registration, thus first to register got front row. I was sitting on the fourth row, which was really good for a pack of 125.

Start of the race was like all others, hard start, massive amount of riders trying to hit he hole shot. I entered in around the top 25 and held until the second lap. My first lap was around 8:15, not a bad 2.9 km lap.

I have to back up to a few weeks before. I had posted to some friends about tubulars and clinchers. After several emails and posts, I decided to go with a friends advice from Kansas. Ted Crisco, former teammate, sent me an hellava email laying out exactly what to get. But there was one line I really should have heeded to, don’t just use tape. Well, I bought the Mavic Reflexes from Excel Sport and had them “glue” them up. The sales rep said that Tufo tape was just as good as glue. Okay, Ted, I should have listened. Two weeks ago at the cross clinic I rolled the rear wheel and then went through Stu’s Glue the Belgium way from I only did the back and did not pull the tire from the front. BIG MISTAKE.

Back to today, second lap, came hot into a corner and rolled the front tire and did an endo, pretty spectacular. So for 46 seconds, I flopped around on the ground, got up, finally got the chain back on, then had to unscrew the rear derailleur, then realized that the tire was off the rim. While all of this was happening, about 30 riders went flying by. After the crash, I slugged along, would make up a few spots and then loose a couple. The next three laps I maintained a fairly steady pace around 8:50 a lap. Hit the deck a few more times through the sand pit and on an off camber. Finally on the last lap, I rolled the tire once more and limped in for a finish. Ended up 70 out of 125 (105 finishers), not quit the 39th on the predictor.

So I going to shoot for the 39th for tomorrow. I have the clothes packed and ready to go for tomorrow, Oh, and a clincher for the front wheel.