Monday, October 5, 2009

Frisco CX 2009

I had a great time, and they have some really great cyclocross races out there in CO. I rolled up planning to race the Cat 4's (call me what you will). ACA sanctioned CX races are all 45 minutes whether you are racing open/elite or cat 4.
They race one Category at a time, so races start at 9 am and go on until 5 pm. ACA takes a very loose interpretation of barriers, and they used logs that were bunny hopped almost exclusively in the mens open class. The course had 1 long open climb, and a couple short tech sections that were uphill. Probably the collest part of the course was the downhill "slash pile" descents. You would come screaming through a section with a well defined swoopy line, but if you got off the line you were in trouble. Several parts of the course were very rocky and rooty. There was a super steep gnarly run up through this really powdery dirt. I would say that about 50% of the course would be classified more as singletrack than CX course, but you play with what you have got and the promoter did a great job(It would make a great mtb short track course) .
There was a bunch of cat 4's lined up, and they proceeded to call up about 20. Being a new face I did not elbow my way to the front after the call up (but i should have). I started on the back row. I quickly realized that this was gonna suck. A lot.

The course was very dry, dusty and the wind was whipping at about 15-20 mph with temps in the mid 40's. being towards the back in a mass (cat 4) start really made for a interesting first lap and a half. You could see that there were obviously some riders in the field with some huge motors, but were operating without technical skills.
The front of the field was quicly out of site as I negotiated traffic and got into the open after a lap. The second lap was chasing down few folks while trying no to die.
Racing CX at 9000 feet brought a new level of pain and asphyxiation to my world.

In the above two sequences you can see that I was able to move through the pack quickly when we were off the bike, but I would suffer mightily.
Sometimes after a run up or barriers I would just keep running to make sure I did not get bumped, bobble or wreck in the sketch that is remounts in a Cat 4 CX race.

I found myself chasing the same few folks after about 4 laps, occasionally I would surge, but I just did not have the gas or the legs to keep anything going. The last 2 laps were spent trying to hang on. It was a very humbling way to start my CX season

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