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Sunday, October 9, 2011

UTCX #3, Fort Buenaventura, 2011

Mud.  Puddles.  Mud puddles.  Deep sand by the river.  Peanut butter.  Yesterday was a fine day for a cyclocross race.  Or two, for those who like to pile it on, beat a dead horse, or kick a man when he's down.  I must be one of those.

I did the Masters 45+ race first.  After the first three turns I was in second place and there I stayed for the rest of the race.  When you are in that type of position you are truly only racing yourself.  Darren Cottle was slowly pulling away in front of me and I could hear and see Doctor Cross (Darrell Davis) and The Claw (Jeff Clawson) duking it out behind me.  Just past the middle of the race I backed off, knowing I was not going to win, and knowing I was going to finish in second place.  That's not a good place to be mentally.  With one lap to go I shook off my complacency and went hard to finish with a pretty good gap between me and Doctor Cross.

The Singlespeed race was next.  I had only a few minutes to drink some water, eat a Powerbar, make a futile attempt to clean my chain (waste of time, see pic below), and then line up at the start.  I knew I would not be racing at the front.  I was cooked, and there was a pro and some really fast dudes in the race.  Darren Cottle, who had just beaten me in the previous race, was there too.  My goal was to ride just above threshold instead of just below my max.  It made me a smoother rider.  I was better through the technical sections.  I was able to ride through the deep sand on nearly every lap.  In my previous race I had to run through the sand nearly every lap.  Where did I finish?  Right behind Cottle, just like before.

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