Thursday, December 22, 2011

Colorado State CX Championships

Photo Credit goes to Annette at Mountain Moon Photography, from the top: Shotty, Butler, Sneady heading up the fly-over and Jim carving up the mud

Kudos to Alpha Bicycle Co and the Frites crew for a great wrap-up of our Colorado CX season. There was a last minute venue change from the rolling grassy course up in Aurora to returning to the "soon to be classic" track back in Castle Rock. After a minor botch with a flyover re-route when the womens Cat 4 group kicked off the first race of the day, the remainder of the weekend seemed to go off without a hitch. After missing some key points race due to travel I ended up with a mid pack starting position. Whistle sounds and the hardest start of the season was underway with a super long uphill drag that never ends. Bottlenecks were immediate as our group dove into what was a quickly thawing mix of snow, ice, mud, and some patches of dry fast grass. The course was absurdly fun. I felt super good on about 90% of the track,the remaining 10% was pure pain, a steep greasy run/ride up that looped directly into a paved uphill climb that just absolutely crushed me. I was sharing another epic battle with Tom Haynes from the Springs as we swapped positions about 2-3 times. I started ahead, Tom caught me on lap 2, I caught Tom but then dropped a chain. John Bliss came up to me with a solid pass but then a rear QR skewer came loose on him and he was set back a few spots. I came back up on Tom and squeaked by within 100m to finish and rolled though in 24th. While washing the mud off back at the car, I uncovered a nasty bloody bruise/cut to my right knee that I cannot recollect as to what may have occurred, I never hit the deck, and certainly never remembered smacking my bars, a course stake or another rider, I suppose that may be the sign of a good sum, I am stoked with an overall incremental improvement over last season and have some plans to continue that track.

I stuck around the remainder of the day to witness fellow SRAMmies Brian Butler work though a massive 90+ rider 35+4 field to place 26th! Then Braden Snead had a rough start in the Cat 3 group to put in a solid effort and came though with a very impressive top ten finish (9th)in a rapidly deteriorating course.

So, there you have it, 15 races in the bag this season, 3rd was my highest placing, 40th was my deepest placing. A late-season switch onto a 15lb. Rapha-Focus team ride that is just absolutely sick. Two trips to Asia squeezed into the season, one nasty head cold but zero mechanicals and no crashes worth writing home about.As always it's tough to come off the season with nothing on horizon for 9 more months. I already miss my Northern Colorado cross family but our group here in the Springs has coalesced into a very tight knit group of die-hard enthusiasts and we have some plans on the horizon. So stay tuned and best of luck to those continuing their season onto Nationals and Masters Worlds !

Thanks so much for reading, hope the Colorado side of Sram Factory Cyclocross has been entertaining. Until next season...


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