Monday, October 27, 2008

Consistency Counts

I've been very pleased with my racing so far this cross season. No wins yet, but I have been very consistent. Last weekend was the Boulevard Cup at Wyandotte County Park. Absolutely beautiful fall day with a good wind and a good course. There were some soft spots in the course that turned muddy as the laps went on, but for the most part it had some nice fast sections. This was another large field, so getting 6th out of 40+ I was pleased. I had a better start, but can't seem to hang with the lead group on the first couple laps. But, I continue to race stronger and pick riders off as the race goes on.
I've been sick going on 16 days now. Today was the first day that I actually felt good. I'm still not sure if I'll race Sunday after our first Boss Cross race or not.
This past weekend was another new 2-day race up at Smithville. After a very wet week, and cooler temps I expected it to be a mud fest, but the ground soaked up the rain quite well. Props to Mr. Locke for a very solid course. I didn't feel strong in the soft sections by the barriers, but the rest of the course was cool. Once again another slow start, followed by a lap of pinning it to make the lead break. I was able to use my strength in the corners to pass riders then accelerate on the straights. We had a strong 5 man group off the front and then came the attack by Matt Baugher. He pulled away so quickly that the rest of us just sat there. He held strong for a couple laps then his teammate Jason Knight bridged up to him. I tried to take Jason's wheel, but couldn't. But this got me into 3rd securely. I fought hard for the last 2 laps to keep 4-5 off my wheel and managed to pull away toward the end. Very happy with 3rd, but the 1-2 punch hurt.
Sunday was much of the same. I had a little better start and once again a break of about 8 was established toward the end of the first lap. There was a first lap prime, so there was no messing around. The course had been slightly modified and it took me a couple laps at race pace to get comfortable with the changes. Overall, I liked the second day's course better. I think it flowed better, and took out some of the monotony of the climbing. By the end of the second lap there was a 2 man break and I was leading the chase group. Each lap I continued to ride guys off the back of the group and before long there was just 3 of us chasing. As the race wore on I slowly pulled away from my group...not any closer to the leaders, but enough to establish 3rd place again. The last lap I turned myself inside out trying to maintain my position and possibly gain time on 2nd place. Overall I was happy with back-to-back third places. Consistency does count.
Time to get ready for our race. There is a beautiful wooded section that the likes of Bart, Sven, Niels, and Erwin (and any other Belgium) would be proud of.
See you all Saturday. Check out for further details.

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