October 12, 2009

Cross Clash - Ft. Steilacoom, Washington

Another long weekend in the van with my fabulous teamies Chad and Renee, and of course their kids (dogs), Maggie and Red....

Leave Bend 3pm, drive to Portland, eat at Cha Cha Cha, crash with friends, try to sign up for CycloCross Nationals, but the website can't take the traffic and we go to sleep without having given any more of our money to USA Cycling.

Saturday: 3AM
Wake up, successfully register for Nationals, go back to sleep

Saturday: 6:15AM
Get up for real this time.  Head out the door and grab coffee at one of my old favorites on Fremont and head north to Lakewood, Washington, Home of Fort Steilacoom Park the first race of the weekend, Cross Clash! 

Renee, Chad and I all raced at the same time so the pre-ride, warm up and number pinning was a group effort.  At 11:30, we stood, shivering, at the start line.  The fields weren't huge, but there were some tough competitors in the Elite Women's Field: Kari Studley (Velo Bella), Kristi Berg (Redline), Jenni Gaertner (XXX), and Ann Knapp.  Here we go!

I had  my signature start (aka: awful) and had to scrap my way back from about last to 5th, riding behind Ann Knapp from Kona for a couple minutes, moving past her on the first uphill and continuing to extent the gap as the race continued.  Kristi Berg was in my sights with 3 laps to go and I did what I could to catch her, but I finished 20 seconds back.  The race was posted as 45 minutes; I race for about 55…. All the better; the 40 minutes at Nationals is going to seem short. Check out CX Magazine's Race Report Here.

I finished the day in 4th place and was pleased with how I rode.  My cornering is getting better, I am becoming less of a chicken on the down hills, and am trusting my tubulars more and more.  I really love those wheels.  I do need to find that other gear though - more intervals perhaps!?!

Renee and Chad both raced well and once we caught our breath, slammed some Recoverite and cooled down, it was off to Papa and Connie's for showers, rest, relaxing, good food and great company.  Thanks for spoiling us rotten!   (Matt & Scotty, we missed you!)

Sunday's report coming soon!