King College Tornado Cross - Tri-Cities Weekend Pt. 2

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sunday was lackadaisical to say the least. Michelle and I woke up early and headed to our favorite breakfast place...well pretty much ever. Their special for the day was a marble pound-cake french toast with blackberry topping, to say it was exquisite is an understatement. Afterward we headed back for a nap, after all 8AM is early and as I mentioned before it was a lackadaisical Sunday morning, after breakfast that is.

Eventually it was time to head south on I-81 towards the Tri-Cities for another exhausting afternoon of racing. While racing is very challenging and tiring, I believe it's the long hours in the car on the road that take it out of me, that in addition to not sleeping in my own bed on a weekend since...??? (not sure the last time).

Bristol, VA & TN is a pretty neat town. I say VA & TN because the road the route my phone took had me drive down state street, appropriately named. It's not the main road in town but it's where most of the historic shops and what looked to be good reastaurant were situated. I took a picture because I thought it was really neat, VA on the left and TN across the street. Not sure how this works but it may mean you can walk across and buy beer on a Sunday evening if you can't in TN???

State Street.

I arrived to a gorgeous campus and weather that was picturesque for a cross race, while not "cross" weather it was beautiful, following suit with the campus. King College is an SEC school that competes in the SECCC (South-Eastern Conference Cycling...something?). During the morning they had their collegiate races but also brought in additional participants in the afternoon for other categories, really making the race worth their time and effort.

King College Campus.

After registering I hopped on my bike and reconed the course. A pretty steep gravel/dirt climb was going to make for an interesting SS race, while two fast descents and a necessary run up on the opposite side of the course were going reek havoc on my legs. I kitted up, doubling up my numbers again and headed out on the course to warm-up. It was especially nice that the Pro/1/2 race only went for 30 minutes, because their were only two participants; this allowed me to warm-up on course and get a feel for it at speed.

Up first was the SS race, their were three of us. The juniors joined us as well making for a combined field of 5. Justin and one of the juniors had just raced the Pro/1/2 race, another junior who I was about to meet in the CX4 race and a master who doubles up on the weekends by racing SS as well. The race was pretty relaxed and wound up being more of an exhibition race than actual competition with conversation frequent, unusual for a cross race. I took second in the SS race, as I expected behind Justin and in front of the masters guy. The junior who I would be racing in 15 minutes decided to take it easy, a wise move since he won the CX4 race right after, another victory to his undefeated season.

After a quick bike change and a Clif Blok I headed toward the start, their were maybe 15 or so us in the race including some of the collegiate guys who raced earlier in the day. The race started quick and I was already cooked, 3 hard races on my legs in a weekend had done its toll and I was simply hanging on. On the first lap I was right top 5 when my shoe got caught in the tape and the events that followed were so comical I couldn't help but laugh at myself. I decided it was necessary to depict the event:

...Enter Paint

I couldn't help but laugh at myself for how this played out.

So after this happened and most of the field passed me I decided to relax but still race. I Put in a big effort near the start on the paved section and made up three places before the large climb. After a quick single track section I had caught two more riders going into the mud pit. I suppose I leaned it too hard because the next thing I know I was on my ass watching the three riders I had just passed spray mud on me. After this wreck and the one with the tape my chances of a respectable finish were over and my bike wasn't happy about it either. I hit the pit and picked up my SS bike and finished the race on it. It was a learning experience...whether or not I actually learned from it however is still to be determined. Again no power data because I switched bikes 2.74 mi. into the race, I'm going to try again this weekend at Tech Cross.

I guess I wound up 13/19 for the day in the CX4, not bad considering.

SS results

At the end of the day I had two muddy bikes and a swag bag for my second place in SS. It has a bottle, Gu's, and some other misc. stuff that I will eventually find a use for.

The bikes were in desperate need for a cleaning. Good thing I got some chain lube as a prize.


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