Following the holiday break cyclo cross racing is back for a few more weeks. Sunday’s venue was the hillside campus of Harbor High in Santa Cruz. Courses here are always really fun and challenging. Fred and I lined up with eleven other single speed racers behind the geared pack and waited. The official began call-ups and I was surprised to find I was 3rd overall. The start was uphill for a short bit and then narrowed on to single track before turning several times past the finish. I figured it would be important to get the lead and not be slowed by the group. We started and my plan worked perfect. I sprinted to the lead and was able to create a gap fairly quickly. Five seconds turned to ten and I couldn’t believe it.
I actually felt like I could go faster, but I didn’t want to be foolish so I just tried to maintain a slightly faster pace then my chasers. Chas was leading the charge and began closing in. Rounding a turn in gravel, I lost my wheel and slid on my knee and hip for a second. Chas finally caught me, and I was happy to have a wheel to latch onto and catch my breath. I followed him for most of a lap before Ruben caught and then charged by us with a huge acceleration. This turned to be the decisive moment, as a selection was made and I was not included. Chaz, Tim, and Dan all moved up to chase Ruben, but I was unable to answer. I kept them in sight as I tried to push it anywhere I could. My attention must have drifted when I forgot to turn around a cone and went right into the course tape. By the time I untangled myself Fred came along. I got on his wheel and rode with him for a lap before I needed to pick it up. The last started and I wanted to finish strong. First motived to pass Dan because he was on a 29er, I picked up my pace and went by him and kept going hard until the line. 4th on the day with Fred at 6th right behind me. No podium for 4th, but Tim graciously gave me a beer for my effort. Thanks Tim.
Heather ripped up the women’s B race finishing 3rd!