It seemed odd as I was getting on my cross bike tonight to head off to a cross training race. My team Flatwater Cycling is hosting 10 cyclocross training races this season every wednesday starting tonight. I don't think that I was mentally prepared to really start cross. My goal for tonight was just to go out and put out a hard effort and see what happens. This morning I even got up early and did my core workout that I didn't have time for last night not sure how that would effect how tonight would go.
We have the races broken down into two categories Cat 1/2 and Cat 3/4. The Cat 1/2 race is first at 5:30 and the Cat 3/4 race is at 6:30. I don't get off work until 5 and by the time I get home change and head off on my bike ( I ride since the park we are racing at is only 2 miles from my house) and get to the race it is about 10 til 6 so I didn't race the harder race which I think I want to try to from here on out just for the chance to push myself harder. So tonight I raced my Cat (3).
As it was time to go I was feeling alright and when they sent us off we took off down a long road section in the park. I was in 4th wheel when we hit the grass I was still in 4th and had my teammate Jesse sitting in 2nd wheel. I never just plan to sit in on a cross race and I was having to brake a lot in the turns so that I didn't run into the other riders so on the first long straight section I passed the 3rd place rider and Jesse and he let me in. The 1st rider was not in the best shape and I quickly made it around him and then I wanted to open up a gap on the field if I could. One rider named Jeff who I had passed earlier who I knew would be strong from last season had moved to the front with me. I pushed the pedal a bit and Jeff came with me and we opened a huge gap on the rest of the field.
Towards the end of the lap is were they had 3 barriers set up. I am definitely out of practice on the barriers but made it through and finished the first lap in in 1st place. I slowed on the road section a bit and Jeff came up on my wheel and shortly after we hit the grass section he came around and passed me which I was ok with. I quickly grabbed his wheel and rode it through the 2nd lap.
On the road section I rode his wheel this time and when we got close to the grass he turned and asked if I wanted to take this lap. I quickly said yes and took off. As we rode through the course I felt like surprisingly I could ride the turns faster (wish I could do this during the mtb races) so my goal was just to work with Jeff and I thought I would be able to get away from him on the last lap.
The only thing that changed my plan was that he didn't really seem that interested in taking a pull which so I just kept on slowly driving up the pace. Then we started to hear some thunder and on the end of lap 4 Sean told us that we had one lap to go which was at least one lap less than I thought we would do. So I didn't attack but just slowly get uping my pace and really hitting it hard on the turns and corners which I felt was giving him a hard time. When we were about a 1/3rd of the way through the course I really started to push and slowly pulled away cause I wanted to make sure I had time when I hit the barriers cause I knew Jeff was faster at getting over those than I was.
I made it away from him and ended up finishing a few seconds before he did and took the win. I still have a long way to go but I'm really looking forward to cross now this season but this isn't a bad start.