Despite not having the mud of yesterday's race, things were going pretty well.
I even quite enjoyed the sandy section. That was until a competitor (I could think of other descriptors right now) decided to re-mount her bike, crashing into me whilst severely miss-judging a pass. My problem might have been in not falling off, because my front wheel took the full force and out ripped 2 spokes.
Carbon tubular wheels just don't respond well to pedal interactions. I think I would have rather had some body damage that would have healed than this that will need to be replaced!
The only lucky break I had was that the pits weren't too far away. A short run and a new bike had me going again. Riding angry helps for a while, but it wasn't enough to catch back up with the main field. I wasn't last though....
It's taken 3 weeks of rain, but finally the ground can take no more and has started oozing mud. The dust bowl of the first Marymoor race was completely transformed into a slick, gooey, mudfest. No more high speed drag-racing - 'proper' CX battling with an emphasis on staying upright rather than going fast.
Much slippery fun was had, and plenty of mud ingested. After the first lap I was in a strong 4th position behind my team mate Kristy and wasn't feeling too much pressure from behind. By the last lap I had a little more juice in the engine and pulled into 3rd spot. Luckily, no response from Kristy because she was saving herself for another lap - oops!
Finally, a 'real' 'cross course! More ups and downs than a Catholic mass and more dancing around than a Gospel choir, Silver Lake is definitely one to praise! With the weather taking a turn for the worse/better, a few days of rain was also a gift from the heavens.
I was pretty psyched going in. Until that is my pre-ride and warm-up, which left me winded and wanting to lie down and rest. But hey, better than last week when I couldn't even manage a warm-up. I would stay positive!
With that positive attitude, and not fearing the sandy section, I had a good start and 1st couple of laps, maintaining 3rd place, but on a climb on the back of the course, I lost me time every go-around. So frustrating to enjoy a course, but be let down by my cardio capacity, which seemed to be stuck in 2nd gear. I revved the engine but it sputtered and failed.
In the end I had to be content to stay upright on my bike and settled for 6th place. Better than last week's placing, but with a smaller field, closer to the back than I would have liked.
There was one silver lining to today though - team mate Kristy had a well deserved 2nd place, showing her prowess over the 'roadies' as the courses get more technical. Nice job Kristy!
Another flat non-technical course today. And although I'm not complaining about the glorious weather we've been having, ENOUGH already with the dry, fast courses!
I had to pull out all the tricks in my bag today - caffeinated energy gel pre-race, wet washcloth around my neck and carrying a water bottle. I also decided that the only way of surviving the straight-a-ways on the course was to make sure I was on someones wheel each time to pull me along. I succeeded in this, and felt like I was in a great position on the last lap to pull ahead and grab a 3rd spot. Unfortunately, the gals behind me had their own plans and one surged ahead in the middle of the lap on the final straight-a-way, the other passed just before the final stretch to the finish and got the sprint ahead of me and the gal I had been on the wheel of. I ended up an out-smarted and out-powered 6th place.
There's definitely a lot of young and upcoming talent in the field this year. It's great to see. The only negative side to this is that I'm seeing more and more 'sketchy' moves and unnecessarily aggressive moves to get ahead or maintain position. One of these moves took my team mate Kristy down early on in the race and I was almost taken out at the end of the race after the sprint finish by a gal who just swerved across my line and ended up taking herself out.
I think it's time we all did a little rain dance and started racing 'cross rather than crits!