It's Sunday night but there were cross races last friday and today. Plus we had NYE!!! Snap!
With a race the day before and the day after, NYE seemed at first like an afterthought. That lasted about 2 beers into the NYE dinner, then it picked up speed pretty quickly. The Phantom's of the Opry and Bacon Shoe helped quite a bit.
Now on to the race re-cap's:
Cross off the old year, Friday afternoon, Shawnee, KS.
The course was fun. It was punctuated by a giant run up that was quickly followed by a short but sweet descent. Going down this descent was like skiing, with good lines. We had a bigger field than last week, 9. I was quick off the line but slow on the first lap. Not to fear, for eventually my superior skilz kicked in and soon i was sitting in 3rd place. I was Prefontane'ing the run up and Hermann Meaier'ing the descent. I got some mad Skilz.
I actually caught 2nd place on the very last turn of the very last lap! I was eyeing this guy the entire race and when i caught him so close to the finish it surprised me. Then he proceeded to kick my butt in the sprint. It wasn't the first time this guy had kicked my butt in a sprint, so i guess i'm lacking in sprinting skilz. Still... It was pretty exciting. To finally jump on his wheel right as we take the 180 turn onto the finishing strait, then get out of the saddle and shift into harder gears to sprinting for glory... Fun, fun, fun race with an exciting ending. As exciting as this finish was, Sundays (today) was equally anti-climatic.
*I accidently deleted the photos i took at Cross off the old year, but i found this one on the net. I think it a good one. Ouch.
Now on to today.
Today's race was Epic Cross in Parkville, MO. Parkville is the bomb. So is the venue. It's a park that's right on the river and also right next to the downtown. Very pretty. There's not any elevation change at this park so it's a very flat race. Despite that the course is fun, the ground was smooth so you could really haul a**, they had a fun / technical dirt beach section and a short and very ridable sand section. Plus the barriers were not immediately followed by a 180 turn. i liked that. Gave me the chance to show my mad barrier skilz. I told you, i got skilz.
I felt great off the line and it seemed like everybody was flying. Settled into 4th position, out of about 11. At some point 2nd place dude fell / mechanical, then 1st place dude was gone, never to be seen again, so i was left with 3rd place dude. We talked and decided to work together in an effort to catch 1st place dude, it didn't work. But we were hauling a**. At the end of the race he beat me, but (there's always a but) i had a laps in mental skilz and didn't realize we were on the last lap. Whoop's.
C'est la vie.
Despite a sudden rash of narrow late race defeats, these last few cross races have been great. I'm looking forward to taking a few months break from racing, but i'm also am going to miss it. These last few races kind of feel like a victory lap.
Now I just have to actually win something!
Maybe a skilz competition.