Rested all week, major lingering effects from the Night Nonsense. Riding through the night seems to do that to me. I'm sure my continuing cold symptoms don't help either. On that topic- I had an allergy test monday which turned up negative for common MN allergens. Thus a ct scan of my sinuses was scheduled for Friday (get results tomorrow?). I made it out to the Thursday night CX practice race with the thought that 3 full days would have been plenty of rest and that it was time to use the legs a bit again. Quickly realized I felt like absolute crap. Had a decent lead early, but felt bad enough that only 2 or 3 laps in I started to think about pulling and actually stopped to pee. Did pull out after 5 laps. Knew that I wasn't helping my chances for the dirt bag by riding when I felt THAT bad. Got a good night's rest Thursday night and went out for a 20 minute "leg" test Friday after work. Decided that I felt good enough to warrant making the trip to St. Cloud for the race. Then again, it wasn't like I could think of anything else I'd rather spend my Saturday morning doing and I probably wouldn't have missed it unless I literally couldn't ride.
5:30 came early Saturday. Long drive to St. Cloud. Interesting mood at the start- all the riders keeping to themselves. Pace went sky high early after the neutral start. First 10 or 12 miles of gravel were covered at a close to 22 mph average. I was feeling suprisingly good and was able to comfortably hold a wheel throughout as well as take a couple short turns out front. Soon found myself in a lead group of 5 riders. Figured we would slow down a bit and ride together. We DID ride together, but we did not significantly reduce the pace until close to the 50 mile mark. I was looking at a 19.9 mph average at that checkpoint. Has to be the fastest I've ever ridden on gravel for that length. Still I was feeling somewhat OK and felt I had a good shot at taking 2nd or 3rd (there was no doubt in my mind about who would eventually win). Some of the others were suffering a bit and I was feeling good.
Excellent cookies at the checkpoint. Refilled two of my four bottles and continued on. Around mile 65 there was an attack. I was able to cover it with relative ease and now there were 3 of us. We rode together for the next 4 or 5 miles in relative comfort. There were a couple of pace changes and one hard attack (where I even tried a counter-attack in order to try to split us down further). However, around mile 73 a switch flipped and I was just completely done. Fell back to the 2 who were chasing us, couldn't hold them, really had no interest in riding faster than 13 or 14 mph. So that's what I did. Finished with 82 miles and 4:31 on the clock and 6 minutes behind (the pace had slowed significantly between mile 50 and 65 while everyone sort of rested and thought about what to do next). Proud of how I rode. Wouldn't have wanted to 'race' for 3rd so don't feel bad that I may have lost it by trying to get 1st or 2nd and going with that attack. Really good course and nice people. Will be back next year. Maybe will get to steal some pictures soon.
I need to sell some good stuff-
Velocity p35 rims/xt hubs- barely any use $200
mavic ksyrium es- like new $475
ambrosio crono tubulars/dtswiss 240 centerlock hubs and 2 sets of tubular cx tires- $350 (likely sold)
contact me for pictures
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