Green Acres CX and early season CX

I somehow skipped blogging about a bunch of early season CX races.

The 2/3 race at trek cxc was super fun.  I had solid rides both days and finished around 10th despite going in with a pretty nasty head cold that had even required taking time off from work Thursday and Friday.  The course was one that suited me pretty well and the temperatures stayed down just enough for me to ride solidly.

The next few weeks after that, really all the way up to the Filthy 50 I battled the clock trying to squeeze in house work, unpacking, turning my garage into a shop, training etc. way too much vs. being ready to race.  This was ok as I was viewing it as the beginning of my training for the fall.  My season this year falls into 4 blocks of CX races with the rest period between blocks one and two being the Filthy 50 weekend.  I wanted to be as fast as possible early, but last year I feel I ran out of steam late and wasn't able to capitalize on my bike handling skills as much as I wanted to when it got muddy and snowy late.  A longer view for this year, then.

Metal Cross was a total disaster for me.  Crazy mechanicals the first day took me out of both the SS and the 1/2 race and then the temperature soared and I rode crappy on day 2.

Next was the Baker Orchard race.  I didn't go in with high expectations because my legs had been leaden all week but was bailed out by the weather.  The muddy conditions and relatively flat course put alot of emphasis on skills I do have and not on fitness that maybe wasn't there.  I was pleased to finish 7th with a strong field.

I headed to Green Acres on a bit of a high after winning on the road during my rest week.  Green Acres is a course I really enjoy and the conditions were looking excellent with cold temperatures and a bit of rain.  Saturday race started out solidly and I came back down the hill in the top 6 or 8 but then I had stupid problem with my chain and frustration with my new shoes and found myself out of it physically and mentally very early on.  I chose to ride on at a fun pace and get some practice riding the course but then to pull out prior to being lapped, already had an eye on Sunday.

Sunday's course was a bit of a change-up with some awesome singletrack downhill sections and an even steeper muddy climb that I could just barely ride.  The race started well but this time a rider right in front of me crashed at the top of the first hill and the lead pack of 6 was gone from the start.  I pressed a bit too much to get back into it and went head first into a tree too! By the time I got things sorted out I was 60+ seconds behind after just a lap and no where near where I wanted to be.  I caught and passed one rider each lap for a while.  Finally getting close to Fred...

Well, not close to him there yet at all.  He and Dominic both weren't caught up in that early crash.

There close to him and closing...

When I caught Fred he just took off!  but I caught him again and then we made like 5 laps like this...

Getting in a little duel with Fred was pretty fun.  Obviously we like to compete with each other, but we are also friendly enough that more things go than with most other riders.  What I mean, is that we were both really enjoying feeling each other out and sort of screwing with each other where if it had been someone else we might have played it a bit closer to the vest?  Anyways, I won this battle because of the lesson I learned last year at the same venue.  I may also have set Fred up a bit by dogging it up the hill with two and three laps to go because when I had the lungs to keep it pinned up top after riding the hill on the last lap I was able to open up almost 30 seconds between there and the finish.  I finished 7th against what was probably the strongest non-state chamionship field I think I've seen in MN.  Sort of interestingly Dominic was right in front of me for the second year in a row at Green Acres, maybe next year I will beat him there.  Trevor dominated the 35+ field both days!  They started 30 seconds behind the 1/2 field but he was easily top 10 overall despite the handicap both days and wasn't too far from catching me Sunday.  Always good to see him racing CX after the long WORS season. I thought these pictures of us were funny right after the race...

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