Wow, i was so pumped to race today. I was not expecting to self-destruct in the process of though. So i lined up with maybe 18 or so other guys for the Masters 'A' 35+ race up in Smithville, MO. Some missing faces, but still a strong group today. Doug Plumer decided to race with us today instead of with the 1/2's. Family obligations rule over cx desires. A good warm-up under my belt and my legs feel so-so. I very rarely have any idea before the race unless i feel absolutely horrible.
11 a.m. rolls around and the official blows her wistle. Mark Studnicki fro Localcycling.com leads us into the first turn, followed by Joe Houston of Slimenundgrossen Racing, me and Doug Plumer. A good start..........Doug goes by me and Joe on the first paved section(about 500 meters into the course) and i work around joe at the first set of barriers coming off that same paved section. so a half lap in and the race starts to settle itself out. 2 1/2 laps in and teammate Steve Songer from the 45+ group is now on me rear and eventually goes by me on the early lap pavement.. i can now see my gap over 4th place Joe Houston growing a little. and behind him and working their way to me are teammates Larry Smith and Jeff Unruh from the Slimen team. Jeff is in the 45+ race and Larry is in my race. If that guy would learn to get a better start he would have been racing with Plumer for second. 3 laps in and now larry and jeff are getting by me late in lap 3. next 2 laps has me holding a constant gap back from Larry of about 10 seconds and about 5 from Jeff. Joe is about 15 back of me.......until lap 4 at the double barriers i proceed to mentally check out and catch the second barrier with my right shoe. this had to have been comical for anybody watching. In a split second i amface planting then picking my lenses from my sunglasses off the ground with the frames still attached to my face. I am in a daze, my helmat is on sidways, i am stuffing lenses down my skinsuit so i dont lose them and at the same time trying to remount my bike.....only praying it is still functional. I even vaguely remember Jeff Unruh yelling out at me to see if i was ok. I think he had a really horrified look on his face like i had my face ripped off or something. For how violent me collision with the ground was, i was back up to spped fairly quickly. It was just a few seconds later on a flat section that i was trying to stuff my lenseless sunglass frames into my skinsuit as well. I dont want to just chuck them.......they me not be broken.
Well, unfortunately the comedy of errors was not over with. Joe saw the tail end of my wipe out and was now super motivated to catch my sorry ass. he was charging and actually overtook me briefly coming out of the long sandy beach section. He actually tried to ride it and i ran it. So there went his brief split section advantage. The ensuing climb up towards the picnic area saw me increase my lead on him by 3 or 4 seconds....not huge but important to know that he is gonna have to pull something out of his ass to beat me cuz of the little climb late in the lap.
However...i decided i would make it easy for joe. On a ride/run-up that some guys were riding and most were running, i made a huge boneheaded decision. I had run it once and ridden 3 or 4 times up to this point. I was closing on a lapped rider and made the dicision to ride it and ended up taking my eye off my line cuz i damn near ran up this guys back side. Shame on me. A huge tactical move on my part....as i am picking myself up off the dirt, joe ride up as i am hopping back on my bike. The last little bit of technical 180's before you get back on the start/finnish straitaway, i get sloppy and ride into the course tape, which then of course get snared in my rear cassette and rear derailler. As i am looking down at the pink tape mess in my rear drivetrain, i make the decision that a coule of gears will be good enough and i blow right by the wheel pit as the officials are ringing the bell for 'last lap'. Of all of the dumb ass move i had made up until then, sthis was by far the worst. i only had the two easiest gears on my rear cassette with all off the tangled tape in it. If i trade out for my 'B' bike in the pit, i can probalbly give Joe a run for 4th place, instead i grind my drivetrain into submission and watch Houston slowly drift away from me unable to even get up to speed. Super frustrating and disappointing. I totally brain locked. I can handle physical mistakes like the barrier goof, but the mentall mistakes that i made later in the race are just inexcusable. I put too much work into my technical skills, the cornering and barrier work.....to just lose focus and panic cuz someone is close to ou and breathing down your neck.....I really Pisses me off!.....oh well, there is always next weeks race.
Mark Studnicki won the race going away, with Plumer taking 2nd, larry smith was 3rd, Joe 4th and i was 5th. Steve songer won the 45+ race with Jeff Unruh finishing 2nd to him. I was told by some confidential sources that here are some spectacular pictures of my great wipouts...so stay tuned. I will post them as soon as they are available. till next time,