The Heroic, Holzinger Hot Lap, Twilight CX

The Heroic (there is a recap there as well) certainly did not disappoint.  Awesome to throw down on the vintage bikes.  In short, I felt pretty good all day.  It was surprising how well the Legnano handled on gravel with the 30c Ritcheys Speed Max tires.  Other than not having the gears I would have wanted I don't think it held me back in the slightest.  That said, the cable slipped out of the Nuovo Record front derailleur around halfway and I was down to a 42x13-24 the rest of the way.  It didn't really hurt me anyways, but it wasn't ideal.  Here is the bike-

If you are not familiar with Legnano as a brand you may find it interesting to google it and poke around a bit.  These were great bikes.  This is the Roma Olimpiade model with Nuovo Record/Suntour parts and some extremely early Phil Wood hubs.  Sadly? the hubs have been relaced to Sun clincher rims and the original Brook's Professional is gone.  I was forced to put my own seatpost on it to get the extension I needed as I'm much taller than my father.  The fit was OK, but I would have been happier on a 4-6cm longer top tube.

Race recap-  Hard pace from start pushed by Skarpohl and I.  First large hill and Todd Thorsgaard wasn't waiting for anyone.  I was able to scamper up with him and we found ourselves with a decent gap.  Bob Gritman worked hard to close and we tried to put as much distance/hurt on Skarpohl as possible before he caught.  There were a few minor attacks and Alex Butterfield snuck away following a hard Skarpohl attack which I had worked to close.  We let him go around mile 24.  I pushed it through a couple corners and Skarpohl countered hard at mile 28...  no one reacted and I was winded.  We were three against whatever was going on up the road (it would become just Skarpohl alone quickly) but Thorsgaard, Gritman and myself were either unwilling to work hard enough or unable to make up ground on Skarpohl.  His move was ideal.  I don't think he would have had such an easy time if he had waited for the hillier section of the course on the back half.  As it was he was able to climb at his own pace and put major time into the 3 of us on the flats.  In the end I was happy to get to the finish line and move on to my next stop with as fresh of legs as possible.

Here is the strava file-

The 29nsngl Holzinger Hotlap was next.  I rode my rigid SS Cannondale Caffeine for this as it seemed most appropriate.  Last year at the Heroic I had gone solo for the final 12 miles or so for the win and had felt 100 years old at the start line of the TT.  This year was totally different.  I certainly wasn't fast, but I had good enough legs to enjoy myself on the course.  Holzinger is a great trail and it takes a lot of skill/concentration to make it feel flowy on a rigid bike but I felt like I was making it happen.  Didn't spend too much time partying after, but it was nice to see some friends I hadn't seen much recently.

Wound up taking a nap and then sleeping a solid 10 hours too Saturday night (not only had I ridden a lot, but I think I slept less than 4 hours Friday night).  I woke up feeling OK, did some random work around the house and then started preparing for the evening cyclocross race.

Last year I didn't really start racing cross until two weekends from now and I started slow but picked up a lot of steam later in the year.  I think my overall fitness is better this year, but I'm not really any more organized for CX specifically.  My goal for going to the race, especially after Saturday, was to get a high end workout and start putting myself in position to be fast in 4-6 weeks.  I had no idea what to expect from my legs and some weird pain on the outside/back of my right knee.

By the time I got to the venue I could tell my legs had benefitted from the long rest and I was hoping for an OK finish.  That was pretty much dashed in the first 20 seconds of the race when my chain slipped and I found myself in last.  Luckily I was able to keep my wits and slowly move from group to group for the next lap and a half until I found myself with just my good friend Trevor chasing a single rider (Rhett Finley) up the course.  In retrospect, we should have patiently rotated 50-100 yards behind him and let him burn himself out but we closed the gap and rode as three most of the rest of the way.  It was clear no one else was catching and I started resting a lot and tried a couple of punchy little attacks.  Trevor and I should have worked together better, but we haven't been in that situation before in a CX race and the strategy out there was more like a crit than anything else due to the long straights/wind.  We sort of blew our opportunity as a "team".  I attacked very hard with 1.5 laps to go but it was closed down on a long straight by Rhett (could Trevor have gone right then?).  I sat on almost the entire final lap and knew that I had a great shot at a sprint, but got antsy about it and started ramping it up too soon...  I would have liked my odds from 50' behind to start the sprint, but instead I tried to make the pass prior to the final barriers and briefly went down.  Hard to know what happens in the sprint if I hadn't done that but I was definitely in position to sprint as fast as I ever do physically anyways.  In the end-  2nd to Rhett was awesome and a bit of a surprise at this point in the season.


Results/everyones lap times can be found at endurance promotions

CX Images courtesy of Brendan Bellew and Kim Larson

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