Saturday, November 19, 2011

Northeast Velo Cross Race Report

I think my GoPro is starting to show its age.  Today's course was super fun, the racing was great, the field was large, and I wanted SOOOO BAD to make a sweet video of it.

And then... on the start line... ye olde bar cam inexplicably keeps turning off instead of recording DAT FOOTAGE.  Nooooo!

Anyway.  Text it is!

People kept calling the VeloCross course "mountain bikey," but I like to think it was "euro."  Steep drops, sharp ups, velodrome section, whoops, and not much grass?  EUROPE.  Or as close as we get in New England.

We staged by crossresults.com points (gosh, what an awesome website!) and I got #9, which shows you how leeeeegit this race was.  Eight guys in one place who are better than me on a bike, that's preposterous!

Because the course was fun I may have preridden my face off and felt very not-snappy on the start line.  Which is not a good feeling, especially when Anthony Clark is next to you.  The gun went off and I chiiiiiilled into a very casual 30th-position start.  The only way I knew everything was going to be ok is that Mark McCormack was next to me, and if a diesel like him can start at the back then a snappy sprinter with no endurance like me can... wait.

Leaving the track I had an awesome bar-to-bar corner with Mark where I showed absolutely no respect for his seniority and he, in return, let me live.

I spent the rest of the lap playing in traffic and trying to figure out where Chandler was.  I race best with a clear nemesis, and somehow my declaration of it "being on" with him at Lowell (aka tomorrow) spiraled into a twitter campaign of trash talk and wagers... and yeah now I really have to beat him, because random people keep saying to me "you better beat Chandler."

Where was I?  Oh yeah, so he showed up to Velo Cross for a race-before-THE-race and I knew that letting him beat me on a mountain-bikey (er, Euro!  dammit!) course the day before the showdown would be catastrophic.

I located Chandler about 20 seconds ahead and decided it was going to be okay.

Then Pete Smith buried it on the track and we cut that gap in half.   It was hurty and efficient.

Somehow I got ahead of Pete later on and bridge up to Chandler.

Then, Chandler and I rode together for a while, and it was hilarious.  Because we are both merciless sprinty wheelsuckers, no wanted to pull and no one could gap anyone.  We rode SLOW.  Very slow.  So then Pete caught us and went tearing past and we were both like SUCK THAT WHEEL!    And then we went race pace again.

Somewhere along the line, Alec Donahue and Peter Goguen had a barrier incident which led to Al drifting back to our group, and Mark dieseling his way up to our group, and then we had a five-man party train!  Whee!

Al and Mark were the strongest dudes (BY FAR) so of course Pete Smith did all the work.  Chandler rode around behind me all the while, and I was started getting worried that he was not going away.

So I attacked.  For the first and probably last time in my life, I was in a group with Al Donahue and I was like I NEED TO GO FASTER.

Al and Mark were still in chill-mode so it actually worked, although it's possible a crash may have helped my cause.  I didn't know because I was OFF THE FRONT!

I had enough of a gap on the track that they didn't even ride all the way back to up to me.  I was so confused!  But I kept hammering.  It seemed like a really dumb idea, because obviously Mark and Al were going to drag Pete and Chan back to me and then I would have ridden really hard for exactly no purpose.

Luckily Mark the Shark has been racing bikes for roughly a century now and he doesn't "help other people" in bike races, ever, so instead of dragging the group up to me he just attacked it and jumped across the gap in a flash.

And then Al was like, oh crap, Mark is racing now! and he had to race now! too, and no one helped Pete and Chandler at all.  GLORIOUS.  Mark caught me and said "let's go Colin, you and me" and I pretended that there was a chance in hell that made sense.  I rode behind him for sixty seconds and then cracked like an egg.

Then Al went roaring by me without even pretending we should work together.

But meanwhile, Chandler had crashed his face off on the BMX track and DNF'ed!  I claim he crashed because he was under so much PRESSURE from my "attack" that I can take credit for it.  Yes, that is surely what happened.  It's either that or he was totally composed and just can't handle his bike, right?

(I realize that taunting Chandler when we have the ultimate grudge match tomorrow is probably unwise.)

So that ended up being kind of the end of the excitement for me.  A lap later I had a healthy gap on Pete behind me and a healthy-and-growing gap ahead of me to Al and Mark.  Time to mail it in!

I lapped Steve on the last lap, and we hung out and chatted for a bit and then tried to get wicked rad air on the bmx track.  There were no photographers around at that point so as far as I'm concerned, I did this on the last whoop and was then relegated to 8th place to being awesomer than was UCI legal.

Or maybe I just got 8th place because I'm a mediocre elite rider.

5 comments:

AbelT 11/19/2011 11:17 PM  

I love the barcam footage, it helped me scope out courses in advance last year. Just so you know, we just received some of the new GoPro HD2's at REI.

David Alden 11/20/2011 4:12 AM  

Here's some cat 4 helmet cam action... http://x-blog-x-team-x.blogspot.com/2011/11/northeast-velo-cross.html

Anonymous 11/20/2011 7:29 AM  

"Mediocre elite rider" is an oxymoron to everyone but elite riders.

Ryan 11/21/2011 8:35 AM  

I think every time Mark is in a group with someone he knows he can use (eg, you or me), he tricks them into believing that THIS ONCE it will work.

SEE ALSO me getting in the second move with him at Myles Standish, Mark encouraging me to ride hard at the front, and Mark dropping the shit out of me in the last km.

Eiric 11/22/2011 8:18 PM  

Awesome air on the BMX track

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