October 11, 2011

Cross Crusade #2 - Rainier - Win #1

Photo: www.shiftfocusphoto.com
I woke up Sunday morning, determined. Determined to win a Cross Crusade Race. A win at Rainier would mark my first Cross Crusade Series win.
The rain was coming down in sheets as we rolled through Longview, crossed back into Oregon and made the left-hand turn into Rainier High School. Rain = Mud. Mud = Super Fun! Cross season was showing off it's colors......

The course pre-ride went well, with one exception. Something with my drive-train wasn't quite right. Upon closer inspection, my chain was, well, really messed up. T-90 minutes until go time and I needed a new chain. With the help of Don's trusty tool box (and his foresight to bring a spare 10-speed chain) and Shimano Neutral Support, I was up and running with plenty of time for a good warm-up.

My father and family came down from Seattle, with cowbells in hand, to lend support to the Sunnyside and Silverado teams, and seeing their smiling faces at the starting line was awesome.

I was calm at the start.

Just ride your race. Attack on the hills. Be smooth and smart in the corners. Get the job done.

Photo: Pat Malach
The course conditions changed dramatically during the race, making each lap a new challenge, change of game plan, change of line.

Amber and crew were at the first set of barriers, screaming their heads off. Brad Ross was yelling encouragement at the off-camber hilly section. Papa and family seemed to be everywhere on the course, I think they got more exercise than I did. Don was at the hill.
Accelerate, and when you get to the asphalt, kick again.
How can one ignore such advice?

Six laps later, I was high-fiving my family, grinning. I had won. Cross Crusade win #1 in the books. Stay tuned… more Ws to follow! More race coverage at CX Magazine and Oregon Cycling Action.

Photo: www.shiftfocusphoto.com

Photo: www.shiftfocusphoto.com

Photo: Pat Malach
Super Fans!

Mary McConneloug
 wins in Providence... love this smile!