Oh man it’s all over, but what a race. The course Brad Ross and the rest of the Cyclocross Crusaders set up was absolutely amazing; it through a little bit of everything at you mud, ice, twisty off cambers, sharp drops and punchy hills.
My race started just as the course started to thaw, so we face a good amount of mud. The whole morning Joe, our mechanic, tuned my bikes so I could put them through the ringer. I ran Challenge Fangos at about 28 psi. Everything was working great up until the first corner of the race. Somebody shoved me into a course marker as I was taking the outside line trying to out fox everyone.
I picked up my bike, wrenched someone’s leg out of it, rode to the pit with crooked bars, and swapped to the spare Redline Conquest. Tim Rutledge did what every good manager does, and told me to get going; being in last place, I really had to. Within the first lap I had caught about 7 people.
The rest of the race I dug deeper into the pain cave, catching more people. The new TRP Euro X brakes worked great as I sprinted out of each corner and braked hard into the next, just barely grazing the course tape as I did.
In every corner I could feel the Fangos start to roll off, or I could feel rocks hitting the Dura Ace wheels. I fully expected to crack the wheels, I hit them so many times; but they are strong and later on Kristi Berg and Ryan Iddings did the exact same thing. And still the wheels are straight and strong.
In the end I rode up to 7th place, just 5 seconds off of 5th place. It would have been great if I didn’t crash and if I didn’t have to catch people, but that’s ‘cross for ya. Luckily its only 9 more months until we can race cross again.