Monday, November 8, 2010
Last weekend took me to Elkton MD for round 9 of the MAC series for the Fair Hill Cross race. Let me start by saying this could be one of my favorite courses ever. It had the right mix of all the elements that make up a great CX course. I loved the little table top thrown in at the bottom of the one descent. And there was a perfect mix of sections where you could catch your breath and sections where you were working crazy hard (that blasted section after the barriers and the finish straight). Overall I give the course design 10 out of 10! Well done guys!
I was fortunate to have one of the days where the bike and me were totally dialed in and working as one (compared to day 2 of the Rockville Cross where I couldn't seem to do anything right). The ol' gray matter responsible for picking the right line through the corners was on its A game and I was having a blast the entire race.
I was locked in an epic battle with the guy in front of me. I had been chasing for two laps and going into the last lap I was down on him by about 15 seconds, so I put the hammer down and caught him at the log/run-up. However he proved much to powerful - I barely held his wheel after the barriers and knew I probably couldn't out-sprint him. By the time we were half way up the finish I sat up and conceded the spot (it's not the first time he's beaten me - he's my top Nemeses on crossresults) and came home in 28th.
I gotta give a big thanks to TLD (Deb Sachs) and Pookums (Matt Kraus of the RS team) for giving me some much needed encouragement. I was starting to get a little discouraged with my results after making the jump the "B" races. Both of the them told me just to enjoy the racing and simply just learn as much as I could. This couldn't have come at a better time.
I was getting myself so worked up before races that I was losing focus. At both Beacon and Fair Hill I went into the race without putting any pressure on myself. They've probably been the my best two races all year. I've showed up at the start lines relaxed and that feeling carried over throughout the entire race translating to relaxed, smooth riding. Because of this new found relaxation I haven't been afraid to really push the bike and explore the limits of what I can do with it. Every race I can feel my technical skills growing and growing. It's a great cycle and one I hope continues through to next year.
It's hard to believe the end of the season is almost over. Only 5 more weeks left until the National Champs in Bend! It usually a good sign when going into the last lap I feel like I could do another lap. It happened two weeks at Beacon as well so I can tell I'm getting ready to peak again (the last two seasons it has happened around the end of Nov.) just in time for the PA state championship and the "B" race in Bend.
That's all for now! Thanks for reading and following along so far this season!
P.S. I also need to thank @joemull (Joe Mulligan) and @hithro (Ben Kiel) for being big supporters and cheering me on during my races. Those cheers go a long way in helping ease the pain of 45 minute red line effort! You guys rule ATMO!