Over here at UTSE we are running a week behind on race reports. You know how it is! In fact, this one is mainly a video report.
For some reason we did a downhill start on Saturday at Gloucester which was INSANE. I actually ran out of gears (44x11) on the hill, you can see me clicking the right shifter in the video until it clicks no more. So that's a bit fast to be going in a cross race when you have a 90-degree turn coming up.
Sure enough someone hit a hay bale and someone else came together with Justin Spinelli, and Spinelli got all f-ed up, and a bunch of guys got held up and BOOM, GOOD START FOR COLIN!
I was definitely into the top 30, which is pretty awesome in a race with 85 starters or so. There were legitimately fast people blowing by me as they tried to rectify their poor starts, but it's all good. Man, it's so much nicer to casually slip 10 places back to 35th on lap 1 and 2 than it is to try to claw your way up to 35th from 50th...
So anyway. Things get sorted out eventually and I ended up in a group with baby Myerson, er, Shaun Adamson. I decided he would be my buddy for the next few laps and set about mercilessly drafting him until we hit the 45 minute mark.
But! Then a fast Canadian came through (Thierry Laiberte) and I was feeling SO GOOD that I decided to leave Shaun and chase him. I was "drilling it" like I could race a bike and everything. Closed up to Thierry's wheel, started trying to recover, and... THWACK. Rock, meet carbon. I thought I had all the rocks on the course dialed, but this was a hidden one on an off-camber, and 30 seconds later I was FLAT.
Worst of all I had to ride past club row, descending like a total puss on my flat tire, while everyone wondered why I was being such a wimp.
Eventually I made it to the pit and did my own wheel change, which went about as well as these things ever go. 38 seconds later I was back on course (thanks, bar cam!) about 15 places lower. And ANGRY. SO ANGRY. Because there were no wheels to suck and I had to try to get back to the front.
I don't remember much after that, except slowly working my way up, even seeing Cary a few turns ahead, and then JUST BARELY getting pulled at two-to-go because I was 81% back or something. Josh Lehmann made it through and he was not more than 15 seconds up the road. Argh!
In summary, good starts are good, smashing into rocks is bad, that's bike racing.