3rd race of year and 2nd round of the 60series cx was held in topeka, ks at the hummer sports park. supper nice park that has a high school district football stadium a softball park and lots of room to run a cool cx course. a little elevation change w/ some decent 180's and hard 90 degree turns thru some trees and around an old abandon insane asylum. its actually a cool course and a cool venue. thats why i chose to race on saturday vs sunday.(nothing against the blvd course in wyco park tommorrow) anyway....i may like the venue and the setup but that doesn't necassarily translate to good results. last years race in the 3/4 saw me catch a pedal with 3 turns to go to the finish line and i went from fighting out for a win to 6th place in a 3 second mistake.
today however was something different. no excuses, i just need to chalk it up to not my day and prepare for racing next weekend and 2 rounds of racing. teammate brian williams just prior to the race, asked how i felt. and honestly i told him not that great. legs were heavy and even tired. in hindsight, I think i overcooked it thru the week with the rollers and trainer and the longer rides midweek. i think i didnt listen to my body this week and maybe just over did it. i did some sprints warming up for this afternoon's race and i was filling the legs up and never even getting winded. the legs were really just not responding. i was a little worried, but hey, i pushed the worry to the back of the noggen and got ready to go. a good start saw me 3rd wheel into the grass behind chris wallace and richard hu. chris was quickly gone(must've been the high altitude training he had last week at the u.s. olympic training center in colorado springs) super talented chris was gone and i had figured right....the rest of us were racing for 2nd place. it ended up being mark cole, teammate brian and myself settling in to pretend we were chasing down the youngster. we were all three on the rivet, but i was suffering more. we quickly gapped the rest of the field in the 1st lap. the writing was on the wall for me as well. i kept hoping the the pace would slow a hair for just a couple of minutes for me to get a chance to get a 2nd wind or something, but mark never let that happen. chris tilford was present again on his single speed and was with the 3 of us for a couple of laps. he would yoyo with our little group thru technical areas but by lap 3 he was finally gapping us for good. about the same time he was doing that i was going the other was. on several occasions thru the first 3 laps i had to dig hard to get back on. i really made a mistake in letting my 2 race buddies dictate my race thru some of the stuff that i would have been much better of leading thru 1st. the technical sections i was having to slow because of brian or mark, i am faster thru those areas. but honestly, i didnt have the stregnth today to get to the front in those sections. so laps 4 and 5 i was just trying to continue to put as much power into the pedals as possible. that wasnt much. by lap 5 i noticed a challenger closing in on me. jason knight from team epic was charging, but i thought i had enough of a gap at the sound of the bell for the start of the last lap. the gap was 15-18 seconds but was surely closing. with the last 1/4 of lap left, jason rolled by me and there was nothing i could do. i had no answer whatsoever. stick a fork in me, cuz i was done.
so, 5th on the day was as good as i could do. i think 20 guys lined up and started the 3/4 race. not a real impressive field size, but still better than some other areas of the country that might be considered cycling hotbeds.
i do know that if it is going to rain hard the day before a race and the course is going to be soft. i want it to be soft and muddy and just plain sloppy. cuz then i would have an advantage on some of these 'roadies', but a normal fast course turned slow with a soft power sucking soil is really going to hurt me compared ot some other guys. that is where i have to address the whole weight issue and me being at least 5 if not 10 pounds too HEAVY!
oh well.......i will recover the next few days and make sure i am well rested going into next wekkends races up in smithville, mo. rounds 3 and 4 of the DeStad series on sat and sunday. this will be my first back to back saturday/sunday race weekend of cross racing. now its being patient thru the week cuz i am chomping at the bit to get back out and race after a dissappointing saturday afternoon of racing. the weather was absolutely perfect though. low 60's by 1:00 pm with no wind and nothin' but sunshine.
Steve Tilford Eulogy
11 months ago