October 27, 2009

Willamette Valley Cyclocross Series - Battlecreek Cross

Another good weekend of racing on the West Side.  The Yeti has proven to be a trusty steed and my confidence is increasing with each call-up.

Saturday afternoon the 2nd race of the Willamette Valley Cross Series was held at BattleCreek Golf Course.  No longer a working golf course, it made for a fabulous cyclocross venue; fast, flat, with some tricky turns and a couple of sand traps. 
The women all raced together, the gun going off at 2pm.

I had a front row call up, as I had won the first race in the series at Heiser Farms and took my place front and center. 

Women As – 30 seconds to start

The whistle blew and my focus was squarely on the corner at the end of the long straightaway – I never saw the back of another racer.  I got the whole shoot and kept the lead for the entire race.  After the first or second corner, I had a 5 second lead and that gap continued to grow each lap. 
The course was fast; no place to rest.  The corners on the backside, through the trees, were tight and slippery roots seems to lurch upward out of the ground at the last second.  I almost lost it a couple of times, but managed to keep it upright and didn’t over correct.  Recently, some one told me that slipping out is good; it means you are testing yourself and pushing your limits – the key is to make sure you don’t completely loose it.  If this is true, I learned a lot on that golf course.

When I went through the start/finish the first time heard my lap split.
7:15 for the first lap, Serena Bishop just rode the fastest lap yet today.
Wow, that was fast! 

I heard Kacy and Andrew yelling Go, Go, Go
Their second ever cross race, they drove all the way down from Portland just to support me… it was awesome to have them there.

The lap counter said 3 to go and I heard Chad yell,
Serena, can you talk? You should be able talk.

I rounded the corner where he was standing.
Yes Chad, I can talk, I shouted between breaths.

With two laps to go, I have a pretty good lead over second place; 1 ½  or 2 minutes.  Chad and Wade were yelling it at me; Tempo, tempo, tempo, tempo.

My mind settled down and processed the current situation.
You are racing again tomorrow.
Don’t over do it.
Don’t make a mistake, ride clean, ride smart.
Don’t blow out your legs.
You are going to win.

My last two laps were my slowest, I crossed the line, winded, but not completely out of breath.  I had raced hard, but been smart about it; in just 24 hours I would be doing it all over again.

I watched Renee finish a strong 4th in the Womens A race and there were smiles and high fives all around.  Sunnyside had a very successful showing in Salem; riding cross is super fun; but doing well is the icing on the cake.

Prior to my race, I was able to watch Chad and Wade take 1st and 2nd in the Master B race.  They worked together for most of the race, Chad pulling ahead toward the end.  It must be the red tires!
We also had a great showing in the juniors race, Mitch and Colin finishing 2nd and 4th.
In the Mens A race, Damian finished a strong 4th and Matt followed closely in 12th.

Sunday's Cross Crusade Report is coming soon!