Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Topeka Cross Weekend... it's the 'Days of Thunder' of the local cross scene

Wow, those courses were awesome. Seriously, both Saturday and Sunday in Topeka were a total blast. I got my Cole Trickle on, all that was missing was a Mellow Yellow jersey.

Day 1

The course was awesome. Fast, fast and fast. I did this race last year and had an idea of what to expect but it was faster this year and more fun than i remember.

I took Tilfords advise and hit up the new Topeka Coffee shop before the race started, good but the double espresso was way to expensive.

There were about 15 of us on the start line of the 3/4 race, it was a pavement start (lots of pavement at this course) and my start was horrible. I think i've turned into a diesel engine over the last few weeks.

I was probably 8th at the hole shot. I stayed calm and rode along, hoping to feel better in a bit. I glanced towards the front to see who all was up there and was a little worried when i saw it was Carl. Carl is fast. Anyway... everyone was moving fast but when we hit the run up i found my running legs and passed a few people. Pretty soon it was Me and Bill from Trek chasing Carl. It took us a while but we caught him and the three of us rode together for a few laps. It was fun being in a group of 3 on a fast course, drafting, racing.

Eventually it was just Carl and I. Carl was stong. I pulled my share but i dont think he would have minded to pull the whole time. He just kept chugging, it was tiring. I was on his wheel for the last half lap or so, kind of thinking about the finish but more thinking about trying to hang on. It was looking like a sprint finish, which would be really fun, especially on the pavement, but like a bonehead i let a gap open up right before we hit the pavement and i didnt' come close to cathing him in the sprint. He won by about 50 feet. i took second.

It was a really fun course and a really fun race.

Day 2

the course was similiar to yeasterday, only reversed plus with a new section. This was the KS State Champs race.

Around 10 starters. My start was maybe better than yesterday although i think it took me longer to warm up. Jason K from Ethos went flying by me off the line and then 30 seconds later i saw him way up on everyone, i had a strong feeling he was never going to be seen again. He wasent. I rode in the group until eventually it was James and Bill from Trek, plus my teamate David and myelf chasing Jason F from Blvd, who was chasing Jason K from Ethos. David pulled early on but i think his late night re-living his college days caught up to him, he still hung on for 5th. James and i took some hard pulls and with about 3 to go we caught Boulevard Jason. So now it was 4 of us chasing Ethos Jason. For a second i thought the 4 of us might catch him, but im pretty sure he destroyed us.

James, Boulevard Jason and i kept pulling, Bill was sitting on. Then Fife started attacking us. It always seemed to be when i was pulling, James would give me a heads up and we would always closed it down... with a lot of effort. Boulevard Jason was rolling good. Eventually Bill got gapped so it was down to 3. on the last lap James got caught in the tape on the back side of the course when he was sitting 3rd. Boulevard Jaon must have heard this because he accelerated hard. It took me a minute or two to catch him, on the run up, but then he immediately pulled away again going down the hill. over the course of the year i've discovered i'm slow on downhills where you have to pedal. i'm a total skinny weakling.

So at this point there is about 1/2 lap to go and the chase is on. I gave it everything. I didn't like that he was beating me but it was fun to dig deep and find something there. i was closing on him, slowely. There's something exciting about pushign yourself to the limit and at the same time trying to negotiate a cross course. It's like gleaming the cube, and yes, when i say that i mean smoking crack. So i narrowed the gap, but not enough. he hit the pavementfinish a few seconds before me and that was that, i still got the drops and gave it my al, but he beat me by about thee same amount that carl beat me the day before.

It stinks to get beat like that, but still, both days were FUN! i spent most of the races in big groups, rotating, attacking, chasing, being active. That dosent happen to often to me. Usually it's riding solo, self motivating, suffering in silence. Not my weekend in Topeka, these races were action packed!


  1. you're getting good at standing on that podium, helluva season, have fun sucking bk's wheel next year