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Cross Racing Week 3: Schwab's Watkins 'cross

Just a brief post of yesterday's race out in the middle of nowhere. When I say middle of nowhere, I mean the FULL on prairie! Goatheads and all...

I took a pass for yesterday's race at Interlocken. I love the course, but I literally did not feel recovered from Wednesday's CrossVegas effort and all of the travel. Sunday's race was sponsored by Schwab cycles...part of their Boss of Cross series.

The course was...well, let's just say we got to race! It was a tough course with a lot of elevation gain on fairly bad decomposed tarmac and dirt. The barrier placement was fairly awkward but made it a bit harder...something I actually like....but not at the expense of rolled ankles given the uneven ground leading up to the barriers. A bit dangerous IMHO. The goat heads were also horrendous (I personally got 3) and in my foresight, I brought extra wheels and swapped out all the carbon and tubulars for wheels and rubber I am not emotionally tied to and could thrash.

It was a small field and I got a call up as did the Spike guys. I had very warm up and the little I did, I felt crappy STILL. Not recovered in the legs. So with that knowledge, I decided to not try and blow myself up and win hole shots, etc. Gun goes off and me, the Spike boys and Mitch got out front. A couple of other guys too but they blew catastrophically in a 1/2 lap. was literally just the 4 of us at the front. I paced with a nice Chipotle guy who wanted to work on lap 2 but i think he ended up hurting a bit and faded. So the race was a game of attrition and keeping everyone behind me away which even in my non-recovery was not an issue and trying to bridge the gap to the Spike's and Mitch. Mitch had a mechanical and had a super quick bike change and I saw him start back up again...and eyeball me behind him to gauge the gap I was closing. Homie is SUPER strong and I'd try to bury to bridge but he is so experienced, he'd gauge his power and hold me off. I had no legs to cover the 20 seconds to bridge.

So the race ended as mellowly as it began...started in 4th...ended in 4th. I'll take it.

After the race, I complained a bit about the course. "It's ghetto". or "It's jungle". Going to pick up my bottle and jacket, I swung by the scorer's booth with the ever present ACA officials Dean Crandall and Yvonne Van Gent. It occurred to me at that moment that jungle, ghetto....or's a cross. They are out there officiating in the same sweltering heat in the middle of no where making a fair race for us all. The course is the course. You race what you're given in the series. You have to be strong to win...and you've got to be 'in it to win it' as my dad used to say. So, it's ghetto. It's another name for 'technical'. We're lucky to be racing.

By the graciousness of BlueSky Velo's Susan Prieto, we have some digital celluloid! Thank you Susan!

I'm breaking some of the rules I teach during the clinics regarding porting in this shot! What's wrong?

The open prarie. Yup, those Dugasts are now dead with Goatheads. Tried to fix it but no joy.

Bob Prieto, regular Wednesday Worlds hard man, getting his hup hup on over the barriers.

Travel this week, so no Wednesday Worlds. I still need the break regardless. Good timing.

Reader Comments (9)

dude you need to come to New England for some "non ghetto" yet still tech course.

We had 2 good UCI races in VT this weekend. All grass, nice goatheads.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKP

no goatheads over in Interlocken on saturday but man, that course kicked my ass! Pictures:" REL="nofollow">

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjasper9

Man, I actually liked the course, except the loose gravel downhill. I raced the slow 35+ and had a blast, plenty of passing room and a lot of power.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRacing Green

Anybody else know where people are posting more Interlocken pics? I saw tons of photographers out there, but where are all the photos of my too-white-and-shiny legs?

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

GK - it is 22:35 my time as I read your blog and I can't figure out what you are doing wrong in the picture except you are wearing white shoes and your breaks are set-up bass ackwards. Please enlighten me.

September 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoeBall

Ah, Joe. You noticed..
a) My sexcellent white Sidis
b) My obviously correct brake cabling (Franzoi is the only one running that's because he's Italian and used to crappy, ill-performing motorcycles)

Good eyes.

But, you failed to notice my seat jammed in my arm pit. So unPRO. I made it a point at the clinic to ensure folks don't do that!

October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

OK, I see your poor form now. To correct this I would like to see you add an extra 150 double barrier dismounts and mounts for the next two weeks. We need to correct this now or soon you will be porting the bike like your famous "not like this" picture.

BTW - I will still contend moto style brake set-up is the way to go for 'cross. It does not matter to me who does it or not. I converted you to single ring years ago and not many of the pros ride single ring. You should give moto style a chance. :)

October 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoeBall


October 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterScottyD

Indeed Scotty! I used Tirealert last year to good effect. These old Rhinos are super hazed though and I used them on that goat head course with no guilty conscience.

October 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

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