26 Oct USGP Louisville Day 2
USGP Louisville Day 2
The decision to go south for the second stop of the USGP CX race was made on Tuesday followed by a call to Druber to say, we could not make OctDruberfest. This is a fest you hope you get an invite to, the food, alcohol, and banter is fantastic, making even the strongest willed folks feel sluggish the following day. So why would one skip this event for a 5 hour drive to race 40 minutes in the dirt? Enzo told me to go hang out with our friends, Chris and Sean from Clarksville Schwinn, promoting ButtonHole Chamois Cream.
Being a good employee, I begged Heidi to come with, since she is much better than I am at this sort of work. I would drive, race and help how ever I could. Our loss missing OctDruberfest.
If it were only this easy. Going over the check list packing the car Friday night, since our youngest daughter was racing in the IHSA Regional Cross Country Championship on Saturday morning. Her team is trying to make it to the State Sectional race, which would allow them a trip to Peoria and the State Finals. So we get up early, I hop on the trainer to do my pre-race ride, drive to the race and proceed to run all over the CC course in the pouring rain yelling my head off. This was not smart, since I do not spend much time running. Rachel runs a great race, the team advances, and we drive to Indy where we stay with our oldest, who is a senior at Butler. Problem number two, it is Butler’s home coming and she has a keg at her house! We stay up later than normal partying, wake up early and drive 2 hours to the Louisville looking for the race venue.
Once at the race we find the Clarksville Schwinn tent, unload the goods and I register while trying to fire myself up to race against the 45+ old fast guys. I quickly get on my bike since the course is open between races, though for only a few minutes. Never racing here before, I immediately find the course is super dry with dust flying everywhere in the 15-20 mph winds with technical sections that are to steep for me to ride with a 42-27. Lets not forget the 2 sand pits, 1 that is rideable, though it was tough, and the other is such deep beach sand that it forced the pro’s to run this section! Putting all these things together, the day is not look good, and I try to keep an open mind. I am now returning to the car when I see a friend warming up on his trainer. Heading his direction I suddenly find myself on the ground! I had run into a cable that runs around much of this park, hanging only 6 inches off the ground, great. I check my bike and pick myself up with my buddy asking if I am OK? He wants to laugh but knew I got hammered so he held back. It is what it is and I went back to finishing my warm up.
I am now in staging, lucky to have a front row call up, this helps. As we listen to the standard announcements from the officials, then 30 seconds and the gun goes off. We are full gas on the road section which is 300 meters long, hitting the grass going at least 30 mph. As we go into single file formation, I am in 6th position which is perfect, though someone has the gas wide open. It is Tom Price who is doing much damage to the field, and while in the first left sweeper ,I look back to see we are 7 guys already having a 6 second gap on the field. As we hit the 4 foot jump I find my bike in the air, landing fine we charge through the barriers. I’m holding 6th until the first wall and have to dismount, now loosing contact with the front group by 5 seconds. I stay on the gas but am not feeling great and the the brain is sending signals like, why are we doing this, just slow down. I get caught from behind by 2 guys and ride with them until we hit the walls again, off I go, with my attitude spiraling downward. Feeling like I am going backwards I crack between the ears settling into tempo pace which is bad if you are racing. Barely holding my position I am caught by 2 more guys and they slowly ride away from me as we climb my new friends, the walls. So this is how the race goes, I breath a ton of dust, have 2 oz. of sand in my shoes, have to get off my bike only riding up 2 walls, while dismounting the rest, and finish 8th.
I am making this race sound bad, knowing this is not true, 8th in this race is a solid finish. Any of you that know me realize I like to be closer to the front, but this is why we call it racing, not winning! I want to say thank you to all the ChiTown folks that were cheering, it is nice to hear, when one is suffering, that you have a support crew close. A special shout out to Lou Khun and the Pony Shop boys who had a really good weekend. They were all racing like studs and the CCC racers should look out for them in St.Charles.
Enzo will see you soon, remember that ButtonHole Chamois Cream helps you find more podiums, just ask Marie Couris who just won her first CX race in Bartlett on Sunday. Marie had help from ButtonHole and Psimet Wheels.
I hope everyone has a great week, train hard, go fast.