on every lap.
Trying to recover
and not get blown up.
The lead in to the steep a very awkaward chicane going down and then a hard right turn up to the hill.
Tony and me on the climb. (Tony is in the guy standing)
Over the weekend I did my first real cyclocross race. The Greenville Spinners put on a great event for the South Carolina Cyclocross Championships. The race was on an abandoned golf course in Easley, the cart paths made things interesting.
I had never done a cross race before but I knew that it was all about position, so when the start was given I gave it my all and started out with a good position. I was 5th out of the first turn. The first turn dumped us out on to the golf course for about 200 yards of rolling straight away and then a hard left hand into a sand pit. The sand was probably 6 in. deep so I decided to run through it- in practice I tried to ride and only made about half way through the sand and my wheel would just stop. After the sand the course went into a fun chicane and then rolled towards the parking lot and the back of the course. The back side started with the most fun part of the race. It went down a really steep cart path to a section of grass and then up and around a tree. It was so fast through that section! After that, it lead to the barriers- that was the easiest part of the race. Then the worst part came.
The course went up another short puncher and then to a long gradual climb in the grass. It was the worst pain I've ever experienced. I almost lost my breakfast there on every lap- that makes two sections of the course that were filled with dry heaves.
The laps went by and so did the heaves and before I knew it I was on the last lap. I was thinking, "Thank God I'm almost done, just finish it Tyler.... you can do it". More on that in a sec.....
Tony Warmuth is a guy who used to work at Sunshine Cycle and has moved on to become the manager of a shop in Greer, Gusto Cycles. Tony talks almost as much trash as I do and he backs it up too. We haven't had the appropriate chance for a show down until the cross race. Tony was there to race and so was I- even if he want admit it.
So I'm on the last lap heading into the barriers and Tony comes around me. We were on the back side on a cart path when he came around, I just thought I need to take it easy and pull him back slowly. So I waited. I just rode my race and caught him right before the puncher before the big climb- that was such a hard course! I went around him on the hill just to get into his head a little. As we went up I heard him try to shift and knew then that he wouldn't be making it around me. His gears just weren't havin' it. We made it to the big climb and I heard it again there. Tony shouted an expletive and I really knew then that I had it. So I trudged on up the hill and looked back at the top of it to see Tony off running up. I put it on a little harder and checked my progress after about a minute. I had a pretty good gap. The gap lasted all the way to the sand pit, but I could tell that he was trying to pull me back. I tried not to panic and just keep the pressure on. Going into the chicane I got a little nervous, he was faster through that section than me. I came out of it and looked back, he was gaining on me. I shifted and stood up and gave it one more hard effort. I was getting a gap, or at least maintaining it. The little kick up to the parking lot sealed the deal. I stood and sprinted with all I had left. 9th place, top ten at my first cross race.
I was really happy with the result, not because of my placing but because I fought Tony off. It was loads of fun and I can't wait until this weekend to do it all again.
I would like to give a few shout outs that made my first race fun and successful. T Cowie; thanks for the race and warmup advice. Baker Bill: thanks for the tip about re mounts, run back up to full speed then mount- thats the only reason I stayed in the top ten. Caroline: Thanks for taking all the great pictures. Mom and Dad: thanks for coming out and yelling at me to go harder when I was going as hard as I could already.