Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Rez and Valmont

Last weekend was Boulder-Fest 2011 with 2 large scale UCI races held within city limits. Saturday was the Colorado Cross Classic at the venue I love to hate on: the Boulder Reservoir. I'm really really not sure why this place is held in such high regard in the cross community. In the numerous times I've raced here, the few times that I was on the gas and having great form, I've either flatted or had a mechanical. The balance have just been full on sufferfests and Sat was no exception. A pile of snow was still lingering on the ground and turned the back 40 in a quagmire and then there's the sand..always lot's of sand at the Rez. My warm up was going just fine until I started mingling at the line waiting for call-ups, then realized that I had forgotten my timing chip, I sprinted back to the car, tore off my leg warmers revealing one super tall black sock on my right foot and a shorter brown one on the left..oh well, that's what I get for dressing in the dark on these trips up to the county. I sprint back to line, missing call ups and lined up in the way way back. Thanks to the timing chip fiasco, my heart rate was already sky high by the time the whistle blew. I had a ferocious start and blew past a bunch of guys on an inside line
and then promptly had the door shut on me by three quarters of the field thanks to being polite. By the time we wound our way through some "S" turns I was well at the back of the pack again. During the race I muddled my was through the course and cursing the 2 volunteers to who would erase the lines in the sand box with rakes on every lap so it was a complete crap shoot on entry on every lap. Finished the day in 27th..ugh. It's been a bit of challenge to hang in the top 20's for points. Other SRAMmies came with and Jim Mathis finished 38th in the 45+ and B. Sneady took and impressive 7th in the Cat 4's. Saturday night was spent commiserating with a long time friend from Maine who now lives in Denver and also experienced a less than desirable outcome in the 35+ field. We both expressed hope in better efforts tomorrow.

The Boulder Cup was held Sunday at the newly formed Valmont Bike Park which features a dedicated year-round cross course, including the "Belgium Stairs" ( see below) It was super cold in the morning on arrival but temps were rising quickly and turning the course decidedly soggy. I never managed to get a full lap in for warm up so I'd be going in blind and stoked about my 3rd row call-up as Sunday seemed to draw a deeper field. By the time the whistle blew the course had definitely thawed with some super deep sloggy sections but faster ( seemed like less clay, than Saturday) so while it was muddy it was still pretty fast. I managed to put in a solid effort
( felt way better than Sat ) and stayed smooth which I call a success. I rolled through in 21st, out of 62 starters, missing out on a few points for the Cross Cup. Valmont was amazing, such a great venue, really fun, festive, crossy type atmosphere, I'll definitely be back. Thanks to Annette from MountainMoonPhotography for the images, she's consistently out there at every event and putting up heaps of quality images on her site for all classes.

Thanks for reading! Shotty

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