Yesterday (Sunday) we had the Kansas State Championships cyclocross race in Topeka, KS. For me, it was a much better race then yesterday.
I'd say it was a total power course. Long strait's, fast turns, a fair amount of pavement. There were a few off camber sections but that was pretty much the extent of the 'technical' stuff.
The cat 3 race only had about 11 dudes, all the fields were small, maybe it was the cold. The start was on pavement but i had trouble getting my foot clipped in and was last at the first turn.
Then i made a total bonehead move immediately after the first turn... i missed the next turn and rode into the pit, SH*T! Slammed the breaks, jumped off the bike, ran back to the course, started pedaling. Now i'm about 5 seconds behind everyone. Turn's out this was a big margin.
For a split second i contemplated just kicking it in the guts and trying to catch the group immediately, but instead i chose to ride steady with the hopes of moving up throughout the race. It worked out just okay, given the fast nature of the course i think i was screwed the moment i rode into the pit.
By the time the first lap was up i had managed to pass 3 dude's, and honestly, it was kind of fun to be chasing everyone. Of course i would rather be up front, i could see what was happening up there and it looked fun, but the body felt good and i could tell i was gaining ground. plus my friends were giving me time gaps and offering general words of encouragement. To help go faster i mentally told myself that my typical 'flat ground cross race gear' was actually now the 'little bitch gear' so i had to ride at least one gear harder. It worked, if you can push a bigger gear then you can go faster. i tried to stay out of the 'little bitch gear' as much as possible.
I passed 2 or 3 more guys with about 3 laps to go but the last of these dude's stuck to my wheel like glue, it would be like that until pretty much the end of the race. For the last two laps we had ourselves a legit game of cat and mouse and it was waaay fun.
There was nobody near us so we could afford to attack each other, then go slow, then attack each other again. Like a total boner i lead thru the long pavement section both times, allowing him to sit in my draft, and in general i think i could have played it smarter.
After neither of us were able to drop the other it appeared destined to come down to a sprint finish, which i was confident about and looking forward to. But then i got all hyper and attacked him on the last barrier. It didn't work, but it was waaay fun. Both of the barriers on course were followed by run up's which i had been throughly dominating all day. plus i consider myself a fine barrier goer over'r. So when that last barrier approach, i unclipped and gave it everything. In no time i was remounting at the top of the (short) hill and pouring my life into the pedal's. There was about a minute to a minute 30 left to ride from that last barrier to the finish line. It was an extremely painful minute to minute 30.
My attack opened up a good gap but i died on the pavement and he passed me with about 100 meters to go. Check the pic below for my gap going from grass to pavement, i was already fading by this point. It's been a while since i died in a race like that, considering the circumstances... it was a good feeling. I wanted to beat this dude so i went for it. It's fun to see what your body can do and it's good to know you gave it you're all for the entire race.
i finished 6 out of about 11.
The rest of the team did great and we now include the mens cat 3 and 4 Kansas state cyclocross champion's.
In non-cyclng related news... later that night we had an enchanting dinner at Red Snapper to celebrate Grandma's 91st birthday. Keep it up Granny!