Monday, September 21, 2009
Nittany Lion Cross UCI C2
With the Tailwind UCI cross races falling off the schedule for this season I had to try to find some other UCI races to do so that I could scoop up some early season points.
Lauren and I headed out to Eastern PA for Nittainy Loin Cross, a C2 near Philly. We made sure to get out there early enough to get some laps in at the course before the sun went down. It was mostly grass with a few sections back in the woods. I was feeling pretty comfortable about things when I went to bed that night.
I was pretty nervous before the race on Saturday because this weekend could potentially have been one of my few chances in the first half of the season, to score some points with some bigger USGPs and other decent sized UCI's on the horizon. I ended up with a second row call up since there were about 15 or so guys there with UCI points. My plan was to play it conservative and keep it upright and hopefully make a good group.
I got an average start and went pretty hard for the first lap to get on the back of a group with some good guys driving it. Soon I found myself in a group with the favorites, hanging out on the back just letting them do the work. We all stayed together for the most part until Davide Frattini attacked us and was gone. This split the group for a few laps while we all tried to chase, but it eventually came back together with 6 of us racing for 2nd-7th places. With just over 2 to go I came down a little drop off and almost lost the front wheel and nearly ended up on my face. I checked to see what the deal was, and the front tire had gone flat. I went from a pretty comfortable spot, to trying not to freak out because all those points were riding away from me. I rode it to the pits where my bike was unmanned and ghost rode my damaged whip off into the distance and executed a nice spin move with my back-up bike and headed back out to try to catch the group. 2 laps wasn't enough to catch them with Tyler Wren driving the group. I was able to stay away from Wes Schempf who got uncomfortably close in 8th. So 7th on the day was good for 6 UCI points and my best result in a UCI race, but I could help but think of what could have been if I got the chance to sprint for 2nd with those guys.