11 Oct Dan Ryan Woods BBVP’s Elvis Cyclocross 40+,50+ Race Report
Back again to talk about Cyclocross racing in Chicago. BBVP & Psimet Wheel’s were the sponsors of this event, which after today, is my favorite course of the CCC Cup. I really enjoyed this race in 2009, but Sunday the local temps were 80+ F, which just made my day. I love the heat in my old age, though upon making this comment reminds me of Master’s National Road Race in Louisville, maybe it is better to say, I like it warm. Anyway, it is a perfect day to be outside, more so I get to race my bike, twice! The first race will be the 40+ and after last weeks mistakes, I am very motivated to smash a few hot laps during this contest. I also will have a few team mates with me, including one of my new road team mates, who will remain anonymous. So I am in 10th overall in the 40+ series, so I am lucky to have a front row spot and choose the far right side upon my call up. the idea is to stay as far away from the trouble maker from last weeks race! The whistle blows and I nail my clip perfectly taking the hole shot ahhhhh, nothing like having an open race track in front of you
Now this course has a few GREAT sections, with one of them being a steep run up, with a single track ride up option, which I take, allowing me to ride the technical descent in the first position while picking my line. We have already caused damage to the field with only 6-7 riders being attached, mostly team mates. I pull for half a lap and let the trouble maker go to the front, setting tempo. This is a fun pace for me and my heart rate drops to about the mid 140’s, good for me, bad for the trouble maker who keeps looking over his shoulder like he wants to see if he has dropped any of us. I say,” do not worry, you are not going anywhere.” It seems I am back in killer mode, thinking I will wait a few laps to throw down my attack. Watching for the sections the pacer has trouble with, I having guessed correctly, knowing this rider well helps. At this point we are a group of three, with Karlow sitting in third. Moving to the front I begin setting the tempo, slowly increasing the pace and the others heart rates. As we come to the double barrier section I go full gas, taking the barriers at about 25! This is Bob Downs fast, Bob is the fastest amateur I know through barriers, exiting in my 12 while adding speed, I am into the trees and can see the damage, a gap of about 7 seconds, yea baby. Staying smooth as not to make a mistake, I go full gas again into the climb staying in a huge gear. At the top I see about 13-15 seconds gap and settle into my LT zone. Now it is a game, I will keep the trouble maker at this distance, goating him into a pace which is to hard for him to hold for the last 3 laps. I know my REAL team mate will want to bridge to me, so 15 seconds is a perfect distance. We now have 1.5 laps to go as I enter the option climb riding the steep hill again, which seems to be easier and faster. Looking back at the top I see Bob Karlow coming with quite a large gap, heheheheh. I slow and wait for him to connect, we start the technical downhill and I tell him to relax and I will set the pace, giving him 30 seconds to recover from the bridge effort. Now we start going full gas again and open the gap to about 30 seconds, game over! Now on the bell lap, 1 down hill left to go, I tell Bob he deserves the W for making the bridge clean and executing a plan to perfection, I back off the gas taking second place. This is what team mates do for each other as Bob gains his first, of many to come, cross victories!
Onto the start if the 50+ race, I do not have a call up and weasel my way into the second row, with only Josh Mallan, who had the call up, calling me out on this move, good one Josh. The whistle goes off and I am happy to be in 15th spot into the first corner, everyone is riding smooth, which is nice to see. As we approach the option climb, I decide to run, because of the log jam and pass 2 guys on the uphill. Remounting I am almost connected in 9th place and by the down hill I am in contact with the leaders. My heart rate is a little high thinking, holy crap, these boys are putting it down. This is great to see since I have not played with the 50+ers since last year.
Tangent, I must give kudos to all the 50+ racers out here racing CX. Our bodies are not as young as they once were and CycloCross is really abusive on old joints, backs, you name it, were freaking too old to crash, yet crashing is part of CX. I love this and we seemingly like suffering together.
Slowly I move forward to 2nd wheel, sitting on Scott until the option climb of lap 2. Taking the lead being free to ride the hill, I hear a rider with me at the top, it is my team mate Danny Warner, who has been ride very well this season and I am happy to have him with me as we have a gap. We still have a race going with third place Scott Ross, the 50+ series leader, and Allen Thom close in 4th, still relatively close. I keep the pace going and 1 lap later we have a huge gap, so I ask Danny how the pace is, his reply is fine. More of the same trying not to make any mistakes, working on my technique, Danny and I are on our last lap and he asks me if I have any water, so I give him my bottle which is half full and tell him do drain it, I am good. At the last barrier Danny attacks me and wins his first ever cross race in the CCC, Congratulations Danny.
I finished the day with 2nd twice, feeling good about my fitness, and knowing that ButtonHole Chamois Cream has helped me to have a more enjoyable day, racing on this tough course.
Until the next race my friends,