Monday, November 24, 2008
Ohio State CX Champs
I had been looking forward to this race for a while because this was where I got my first cross win, and I had some pretty good vibes about the whole thing. Well I didn't realize they had changed the course and location from last years race. The course this year was ok, it had some nice semi technical stuff on about 1/3rd of the lap, but the other 2/3rds of the lap were out in a windy field. Not the best of conditions to go it alone.
I got a mediocre start and went into the first corner 3rd wheel and after a half lap looked back and it was still gruppo compacto. I don't know if I've ever seen that in my life. I guess that's a testimate to the lack of technical bits. Anyway, once the pace slowed I threw my first attack and got a nice gap, but it came back together with about 5 or six of us out front. The DRT boys came to the front to play teammates for me (thanks guys). John Card, one of the strong guys who I notciced was registered, seemed pretty content to let the pace get pretty slow. In an attempt to avoid falling over from the slow speeds, I threw another attack and this time it was just me and John with a pretty good gap on everyone else. From this point on the race got pretty boring. I would attack, get a gap, then slowly get dragged back. Between attacks we traded pulls, but seriously week pulls. I kept attacking and getting pulled back until about 2 to go. I realized that wasn't getting me anywhere, so I started resting for the sprint. I was always pretty comfortable with the idea of a sprint, I just didn't want it to be a 40 man field sprint. John and I literally cruised the last 2 laps talking about cross nats and other racing stuff. The sprint was set up perfectly for me, he lead it out of the last 180 degree corner with about 250m to go and I was ready to throw down. We both hit it and I pulled out to the left to come around with about 150 or so to the line and my foot came out of the pedal. I slammed my knee into the under side of my handlebar and fumbled to find my pedal again, as if I still had a chance... Race over, win streak over, life over. Well not actually that last part about my life being over, but it really sucks to lose when another W is staring you in the face. I guess I'll survive, but it made that drive home seem twice as long as the trip there.
Chartier threw down his best result of the season with a top 15 in the A's race.
Thanks for all the support from everyone at the race. It was nice hearing pro Ryan Knapp shouts from the spectators at John Card's state championship, even if it was just a "go blue guy", from the older woman on the run-up. It was also pretty cool to meet some of my new RGF teammates too.
Photos courtesy of Lauren Half photography.