Funroe, Day 1
After two years of cold, wet and miserable conditions, Monroe finally blessed the DSGP ‘crossers with blue skies and balmy temps. A welcomed relief after two weeks of slow, muddy cross racing. Still, the Monroe track held enough challenges as is: a small mound (which I assume was at some point, a Native American sacred burial ground) which riders had to ascend twice per lap, two sandy volleyball courts that were traversed out-and-back style and enough technical twisty to balance out the pedaling-to-power ratio.
DSGP #1 was a disaster of a race for me, ( I actually gave up a little at one point, somewhere on the backside of the course when I couldn’t turn the pedals as my wheels bogged down in the clay), so I was really eager to put that race behind me. With a decent weekend in Houston at Give Me Some Sugar CX and dry conditions for Monroe, my cx sensations were feeling good.
1/2/3s and Me
I missed my pedal at the start and spend the first four or five pedal strokes trying to clip in which meant I was last to the sand. Ooof, the sand! I hate running, who doesn’t? Anytime I’m dismounting my bike, my little heart screams in agony and my legs die 1000 deaths. Maybe it was all the running I did the last three races, but somehow the sand on this course didn’t totally kill me. I made a distinct effort to take long strides to get me through the sand as quick as possible, instead of many more quick, choppy steps. It seemed to help, along with the long straight sections immediately following the sand where you could put some power down yet still “recover”. The main group stayed together for probably the longest time in a DSGP 1/2/3 race which made things kind of exciting. It felt like actual racing instead of individual time trials. I knew it wouldn’t last long and Scott Kuppersmith eventually rode away from us as he did in the Master field before. With Peter Reed’s sudden predilection to the ground, I found myself in second place with Zachary Thomas and Matt Gandy on my wheel. Man, if Reed could just crash himself out of the race, I might have a chance at a podium! Reed must of read my mind because he was able to bridge back to our group after his tenth crash and then attack us all on a long straight. I was sitting on Gandy’s wheel, enjoying the draft but countered and burt my one big match to catch up to Peter. I didn’t put any time into our group, but just reshuffled the deck with Zach and Gandy being able to latch on. Coming thru the finish line, I heard Zach yell, “Go!”. Oh yeah, I have a teammate in a cross race! You can use tactics! I tried to put in an effort but my legs were pretty much in “save our race” mode so as much as I yelled at them, they kept pedaling at their own pace. Well, Peter had enough of our shenanigans and rode away from us, securing second. Zach and I had a nice little battle for the last step on the podium. One of us would take the wrong line, and the other would take the lead. Another would pull too much into the wind and the other would counter. Eventually, after riding my wheel for most of the second to last lap, Zach attached me on the bell lap and blew my doors off. I had enough left to hold off Gandy and take 4th.
I wanted to give a shout-out to other teammates for strong podiums. Rhea Aldridge got her 3rd win of the season and first DSGP win after besting the Women’s Open field (on her SS!). Kimberly Clements held third for most of the race, aggressively attempting to ride up the “Heartbreak Hill” each lap. (She got it day 2!).
Results from day one are here. Below are the shots I was able to grab of the Master’s and Women’s race before I had to go into “racer” mode. Sorry Cat 5’s and 4’s!
Hopefully some Day 2 coverage before the weekend. Don’t forget, reg for DSGP Round 3 in Natchez is open until Thursday!