I had spent the week in New York, catching the train back to Washington yesterday afternoon. 2 races this weekend, both about 80k away from where I was staying in Reston, about 40k out of DC.
Packed the bike, Bacino kit (it is now getting wrecked in these races) and the ever trusty garmin to navigate my way to yet another horse riding farm where they had the race this weekend. The area reminded me around Dural with huge magnificent homes and gardens all on 2 acre lots. I don't know what people do out her in rural Maryland but someone has made some money!
I was entered into the Masters 35/45 Cat 1/2 race. The course was about 3k long and over rough ground and grass. Big fields for all races with around 80 starters in this race and the Masters 35/45 Cat 3/4 had also about 80 starters. Cyclocross is certainly popular in this part of the world. The usual sprint at the start to the narrowing of the course 250m away was hectic. I backed off a bit at the start so I could conserve some energy for later in the race. I was about mid field and comfortable. The plan was to let the race settle down and see if I could pick a few places up. About half way through the first lap was the double boards that you had to dismount and jump over before jumping back on the bike. I came screaming into the boards hanging off on the left hand pedal when my left foot didn't unclip as I tried to dismount (at speed). Over I went, everyone dodging the unskilled Aussie who was on the turf. I jumped up and remounted, but must have lost 20 spots. Keeping calm, I started riding through the field. The second last corner was a at the end of a straight and you hit the brakes to almost a stop and turned (all in mud). Once again inexperience prevailed as I overcooked the brakes and face planted into the mud! At least I didn't crash into the dam that was awaiting anyone who misssed the corner (missed it by 2 metres). I was now last in Masters A grade and had not completed 1 of 6 laps! So I put my head down and started again. Needless to say in a 50 min race, there is only so much you can do.I picked up a few places when the course wasn't too technical and I could use my strength to pass a few. I managed to finish in a unflattering 52nd place out of 80!!!! This is so different to Road racing! I am not used to being so out of the racing.
Note in the photo the mud on the jersey, plus the ripped number....
Still it was great fun. Learning every race. Another one tomorrow. Hopefully I can improve.
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