Monday, November 14, 2011

This Week's Practice: Starts

Nathan O, Nate C, Patrick, Chad, Greg, and I headed over to Schooley Mill for race #6 of the MABRA Super8 series. The vast majority of us had some pretty horrible starts, but everyone stuck with it and managed to drag themselves back into their respective races. We'll just roll through the day's races.

Nathan O. Lined up for his first CX race ever, and his adventures are chronicled here. The quick summary is that he learned how to dismount/remount 30 minutes before his race started, then promptly learned all the joys that cyclocross has to offer.

Chad, Nate C, and Patrick lined up for for 3/4 race. Nate had what appeared to be a great start, but managed to lose a pedal somewhere around turn 4 of his race. He came running into the pit shortly after and suffered his first DNF in like a million years or something. This wouldn't end his day though. He walked the course for a bit, found his pedal, and immediately registered for the elite race. Patrick had some 1st lap woes as well, suffering a mechanical shortly after climbing over the barrier that most horses would trip over. I couldn't see his mishap from the pit, but I did notice that he steadily worked his way from about last place to battle it out with some of his regular rivals. Chad was the only one to get through the 3/4 race relatively unscathed. From the start, he was in the top 10, he quickly split off with the lead group, and he brought a podium spot home for the team.

Greg, Nate C, and I lined up for the 1/2/3 race, and it was more of the same for the team. Greg appeared to have a great start, then crashed hard near the pit on lap 1 and suffered a mechanical that cost him at least a minute. He regrouped and started working his way from last all the way up to 11th by the end of the race. It was the best worst race of his career, as he put it after the race. I had a miserable start, nearly running into Joe Dombrowski's rear wheel on my first pedal stroke, failing to clip in, and slowly accelerating my way up towards the finish line. I think I was in last place going into the grass. I managed to put myself right behind the first crash of the race, having to stop completely to avoid running the guy over. Then in a desperate attempt to regain some time, I washed out 3 corners later. That would be the end of my troubles, and I was able to find my way back to 8th at the finish. Nate C (in his first elite race) surprised himself by actually racing in a group, not finishing in last, and just barely getting lapped. I think he got both his best and worst cross results score in one day.

The poker race was a great addition to the event. We fielded 2 teams. Greg, Chad, and I shared 1 bike and 2 pairs of shoes, but only got 2 pair in the end. Only good enough for 5th. Nate, Nate, and Jim brought home the 2nd podium spot for the day, finishing 3rd with a better 2 pair.

Great day and great fun for everyone.


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