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Entries in 2008 cross racing (53)

Cross Racing Week 11: Boogers, bumps and bros

OK, let's get the wussiness out of the way first. I hab a code. I hab boogies ib by nobse. But seriously, i felt the joints starting to ache something fierce Thursday and Friday and when I woke up the AM, the throat was all nice and swollen. But moreover, the boogs were fierce. I mean, I had a veritable plate...not unlike an orthodontic retainer of booger...that I somehow extracted from my pie hole and shot in the sink which, when it hit the porcelain, created an audible klink!

Hell yeah I am racing today!

Today's race was in the land of God, Guns, the Air Force and Olympic Training Center: Colorado Springs. 2 hour drive there (and back) from Boulder for a 45 minute race. I've clearly got to love this sport.

With my sinuses pounding, I did some warm ups and ironically the legs felt responsive. I pushed a bit harder on the warm ups and still....good sensations. Game on boys! The course today was interesting. Classic CO course with lots of dry dirt paths, massively bumpy singletrack with bumpy apexed turns and run ups with potentially ankle turning pot holes. There was an opening loop they threw in from the start line that measured a 1/2 mile I'd guess which we'd only do on the opening lap. It was a long dirt path that I KNEW would actually set the order of the day (and it would turn out to be that way...) if you did not get good positioning before the loop finished ad threw you into the courses. I pre-rode my Challenge Grifo XS file treads but it was an absolute day for 34' I ran the Typhoons on the A and B bikes.

We had most of the hombres there today save for Pete, Whit, Jon, Jeff W. Hogan and Timmy. More importantly, my main man Karl Kiester, all around hard man and a guy I truly look up to, toed the line with us.

We lined up in lines of 3...literally Ward, JJ and Jared were the front row, then the Spike team's Brian M and David O and my main hombre Matty Opp....and finally me in the 3rd row. Oy. Upon the tweeeet, we actually had some rational thought up front with Ward set a sensible tempo around the start loop (which included quite a bit of elevation gain)....but I am STILL in like 10th or so around this large loop. Dennis Farrell is behind me and the guy is like a Jedi Knight. You ALWAYS pay attention to Dennis 'cause his race smarts are longer than ANYONE's and he gets it done. So I mark him and he jumps and I follow....essentially moving into the top 5 into the single track and essentially the 'beginning of the race'.

We all funnel into the singletrack and motor through to the first barrier. Dennis bunny hops this thing...on an uphill slope...and me, Ward, JJ follow and essentially get a gap right there and then. We traverse the whole course through the start/finish and I am with Ward and he turns around to see me and gives me the thumbs up. I am getting feelings of re-living Chatfield from a few weeks ago...replacing Whit for Dennis. 1/2 way through the 2nd lap an attack goes of... a punch of about 5-10 seconds and man, that was THE gap. For the rest of the race. EVERY lap I saw JJ, Dennis and WB in nearly the exact place at the exact ti,e...roughly 40 seconds by finish. By mid way through I am racing extremely clean and I am happy. I star to take chances through this massively bumpy apexes and madly 'burp' my burp I mean roll this thing so heavily over that it makes that God awful....fraaaaap noise. Every lap after that I take it gingerly albeit carving smoothly and the Dugasts never fail (mainly BCS's Mike Doyle's glue job never fails!).

2 to go and Green Mountain's Ross D bridges up and like a pro punches it at exactly the right time and holds his 10 send gap amazingly. I was waiting for ANY slip or bobble and I'd attack but homie was smooth and kept his gap consistently. Again, when you race 35 A's, let's just say speed + experience = extremely tough situations to gain places.

Last lap and my good bud Stephen Oliver bridges amazingly. A great effort. We come through the start/finish together and I give him a slap on the back and let him pull through. We come through that up hill barrier together....we all by this time followed Dennis' lead and bunny hopped it lap after lap...but as we come n to this section, we are about to lap a rider right at the barrier. I get Dennis-like Jedi thoughts to not hop but run it as this was going to be dicey...three abreast. I hop/run through a clean line and Stephen t-bones the guy and I hear 'that sound'....frraaaarghooomph! Stephen gets the wrath of the barrier. So (sorry Stephen) I punched it. I try to bury it to Ross and he finished that EXACT 10 seconds in front in 4th, me in 5th.

Not a bad day considering the booger plates and sinuses. I'll take it.

Click on Matty Opp's picture below to see more of Ultra Rob's stellar photos. All photos above are also Ultra Rob's!
And Jim from SRAM was out racin' and shootin' and sent me these great pics!

The East Coast Equivilent of PDXCross

My hombre Peter of NY Velocity has posted some of his insane pics from the Mercer Cup this weekend. While Peter shoots color *and* B & W, the images are reminiscent of those the PDXCross crew in Portland shoot on their race weekends. I just love the 'non obvious' shots...e.g. anything that shows a focus on the things going on around the race....not just the prototypical shot of the racer. Details of the course (note the out of focus racers but in-focus mud shots), the fans and the way they go OFF yelling at the racers to dig deeper, the insanity of the pits as bikes get cleaned, and pit crew hustle to get the bikes ready for the hand off. THOSE are the things I want to remember when I am old and fat.
Check out Peter's collection from the Mercer Cup here and subscribe to NYVelocity feeds!

Cross Racing Week 10: Small victories

November 15th: The last day round in the BoulderRacing Series and an extremely hard course was the call for the day. My warm ups fired off some feelings that brought smiles. Things felt right and maybe as we near States and Nationals, things are coming around. Unbelievable with the lack of training! More importantly, today was a HUGE day as Brian Hludzinski input a Tots Race at High noon....with its course designed by none other than VeloNews' Matt Pacocha. My kids were PUMPED!

The course at the Lousiville Rec Center is known as a tough one. The entire course is woven around this giant bowl...literally it looks like a dried out man made reservoir of sorts. So Brian and Matt Pacocha decided to use as much of the property to ensure LOTS of elevation gain. Making it a very hard course. Combine this with extremely bumpy conditions and equipment had to be perfect for your day. Tire size and pressure was key. I ended up running my 34 Typhoon's at about 37-38 psi and it seemed perfect.

As I finished up my warm ups I look at my watch and see there's about 15 minutes before the start so I make my way over to the Start area....a SUPER long drag strip roughly a 1/4 mile of dirt road. There's already a scrum assembled and I see that call ups are already happeningg! I get there at the precise moment my name is called so I fall in. Everyone gets assembled and then we wait. I notice that the ACA official is someone I've never seen before. Finally, the course is clear and we're ready to go. He indicates out of the blue 30 seconds and everyone clicks in. "10 seconds" and before you know it 15 or so dudes on the front left just drill it BEFORE the official even says go! I yell at the official and he's like "I'm not callin' 'em back..." and so I just drill it to get in the Top 20 or so. I am furious.

The course opened up with said drag strip launch up and around the bowl and through a sand pit. It was mad congested so I see Timmy un-clip to run and I do likewise, we braaaap through the sand running passing what seemed like 5-7 people outright. After exiting the sand pit you are sent directly down extremely bumpy slog that at its bottom turns HARD right directly back up hill. I am flowing into the apex when I am bombarded by that same group we braaaped past in the sand pits and bumped into and through the course tape! Swoosh swoosh swoosh dudes are overtaking me and running up the hill in packs as I am yanking pulling are ripping my bike away from the tape and finally run up the hill. Back AGAIN in like the top 20! So now it is a game of 'pick 'em off'. I am a surly man at this point and lap after lap I ride consistently and smoothly focusing in on riders wheel. Head up, see it, bridge to it, over take one. I claw my way back into 13th or so and on each lap I can see the leaders....Cariveau, WB, JJ, Jeff Wardell, Whit J....and it's virtually the same distance every time. Same exact place EVERY lap. It's a stalemate. I'll NEVER get up there today. So I settle in with two good buds and great racers, Stephen Oliver (Yeti-CoMotion) and Glen Light (Moots). We continue to beat the snot out of each other, all three of us dangling by this point in 9th, 10th, 11th. Timmy is just in front racing smoothly and consistently looking behind to judge where we are while eyes forward to see if he can pull forward. Everyone is flying today. everyone is balanced. If you were not in that initial punch after the 1st lap debacle, you were not at the super pointy end.

Lap after lap up the mountain bike style climbs and down the dodgy gnarled descents we all remained consistent...wheel's nearly rubbing we're right with each other. I'd attack a bit then Stephen and Glen would bridge back, then reverse. On it went like this. Super fun to say the least but I think all three of us wish we'd been able to make an earlier selection and stuck with it! We finished up the day in basically that order, Stephen 9 Glen 10 and me 11. Tough day at the office given the course and what everyone said was a really crappy start by the official. (Apparently every category had the same experience at the start...). JJ from Spike was on great form taking the W with my team mate Whit 2nd, Jon Cariveau and Mike Hogan rounded out the top 4.

With our race over, on came the kids! It was SWEET! There was a little course set up with obstacles, teeters ... a run up! (OK a slight incline...). The kids were out of their minds! Everyone got medals and my boys were stoked. My big man opened his 'W' account taking his first victory in a late race move....mostly motivated that he'd have a snack after the race and get back to playing Transformers. My little man came undone under the pressure of the fans and yard-saled his way around until I had to go rescue him. Bike racing. I digress. A fruit wrap and a hug remedied all that sadness.

Pictures of the kids event by Zach Lee can be found HERE.

Beckham Faia ripping it off the front....

Final showdown: Boulder Racing No. 4!

Boulder Racing's last race in its four part series finishes up tomorrow with the fianl showdown at the Louisville Rec Center in Louisville CO. Brian Hludzinski, race promoter sent out this teaser for all to come and bring 'er tomorrow!

Hello Cyclocross racers and fans,

A few notes in regards to Saturday's Boulder Cyclocross Series race
#4 and Series Finals at Louisville Rec Center...

* Unfortunately we'll have sunny skies for Saturday, so no mud and no
* The Prize List is stacked with plenty of product from Boulder Cycle
Sport, Curve clothing, Moots, Ryders Eyewear and over $3,000 in cash.
* Overall results are up at BoulderRacing. com and the last race will
be double points. So if you are anywhere in the running for a good
overall result and have a decent finish you are sure to ride home
with some sweet prizes.
* Dave Towle will finally be in town along with Nat Ross, so the
dynamic duo will be on hand with mad lyrics.

* Dale's Pale Ale will be flowing with a free beer garden for ACA members.
* Tot Race - after last Saturday's successful kids race at Chatfield,
we were inspired and begged by the kids to do another one. We'll have
an impromptu tot race course setup in the infield with some fun
teeter-totters for the small riders. Race at Noon so bring the kids.
Also, the new playground is up and running, so it should be a good
time for the little ones.
* Valmont Bike Park - Come take a look at what's in store for the new
Boulder bike park and any donations made at the race will be matched
by Boulder racing up to $500 - NPR style.
* Since we've all had our share of goatheads this year at non BR
races ;) we added a rescue kit to our prize packs and primes - tubes
with removable stems and bottles of sealant. Be sure to keep an ear
open for these necessity giveaways

A few logistical notes -
* Course marking - we'll have a preliminary course marked with
orange flags on Friday evening so the early morning master racers
will know exactly where they are racing while we are finishing setup
in the am.
* Extra parking is available a little farther past the Recreation
on Via Apia Drive at the Christ the Servant Church, please no
rigs and trailers there.

See you there,
www.BoulderRacing. com

Cross Racing Week 9: Horseshoes and Handgrenades

Almost. But that only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, right? Oh that close. That absolute sweetness of being at the front and truly believing I am going to put my hands above my head and know what it feels like again. But alas, not today. I'll get to it all in a minute....

I think I have something dialed: race day food. It's taken me at least a decade to figure it out, but I think the secret pre-race meal is (drum roll): pancakes. Before every sporting event of my life, my pops used to whip up his patented breakfast: the Egg Mc Dad-which. Eggs, a bit-o-cheese on toasted Jewish rye. Dee-lish. And I'd replicate that often when I moved out on my own and continued the sporting life (and no, I know what you're thinking, my cholesterol level is mad low, thankfully!).

But as of late, I needed a change. A bit of the home made pancake action was the remedy and for some reason, all seems right in the world. I feel deeper and better with my performances after scarfing 'em down. Or, maybe it's me starting to separate myself from him, pops, as the only reason to have an Egg Mc Dad-which was tradition. Maybe it's just time to move on and leave what was experienced behind.

The 'cross was a good one today folks. A beautiful one. It was an 'On The Cross' event held in Littleton CO at the Chatfield State Park grounds. Everything this course dished out was seemingly designed for me. Incredibly flowy single track, tough technical transitions, lots of barrier work, sand sections. It was a long course but the whole thing was single track! Truly! When I say single track, I mean the sweet stuff that you lust on your MTB carving in and out and up and down of apexes, berms and between trees. The course was made for me, I swear. Honestly, pre-riding it reminded me EXACTLY of the first course we did in Belgium, Shriek Grotloo, and honestly a bit better. And yes, I can say that with confidence.

The pre-ride proved that a hole shot was a requirement. The long, drag straight-away made a HARD right turn into the singletrack. So 10 abreast needed to single file it out in a 1/4 mile drag race and flow into the twisties. A lot of the normal heavies weren't there (where are you Timmy, Chris, Jeff??) but regardless, the pre-ride was firing things in my legs that I haven't felt in a while. I did not care who toed the line. I was getting into the singletrack first.

I got the call up which was great and situated in the position I wanted to be in: Straight shot down the drag strip. TWEEEEEEEEEEEET! We're off. Exactly to plan I drill it...hard. I went into my 42 x 12 in like 3 pedal strokes it seemed and flew right into the singletrack. Honestly, that was it. I never looked back. Me, my team mate Whit Johnson and Ward were off and running and nearly immediately gaped the field in the first lap. The three of us, mountain bikers first and foremost, were off to the races. I ran my 34 Dugast Typhoons today at about 35-36 PSI and it was exactly like my bike was on a fun park ride's rails through the twisty single track. We put a massive gap in these sections so it was clear you needed some level of flow-skill only learned when you are on fat tires. No brakes and lots of leaning/body english to keep momentum.

2nd lap and I did the unthinkable (at least to me...): I clip a barrier! Man oh man! I immediately jump up and I am back on with Whit and Ward. We still have a gap but that yard sale certainly did not help! I am a bit rattled but flow behind the boys and proceed to lead out the next lap, followed by Whit's lead on the 4th lap and my final lead again on the bell lap. Things are going great and I have folks (like Dr. Pete!!) yelling at me as they can see I want this...badly. It's been too long. I get into the singletrack in 3rd position. By this time the three of us have a passenger: JJ Clark. Homie can win races. I am tweaking a bit as I keep thinking of pops and that I am absolutely going to win this thing. No question. I could feel that I could gap people on prior laps and saved a bit. We all barrel out of the single track onto a dirt road power section. I tell Whit, "Dude, I'm going to bring this home for my pops" (I literally said that, felt it, meant it and went for it...but such an emotionally driven move! I wasn't thinking!). I attack so hard that I feel like I have the gap but it was just that too far out from the finish. Whit does an awesome job blocking but JJ who'd had fresher legs bridges up to me and sets a harder tempo and I suffer for it. Whit edges up past me and sets behind JJ along with Ward and I think I am still OK. They gap me slightly and that was it! I could not bridge the TEN FEET to get their wheels. If I'd only waited and done what I was doing ALL race....flying through the sand sections...I would have been there. Arms up i the air. Almost pops! Almost. The raddest part of the day: Whit taking first and Ward 2nd. The WB is like a brother and if you knew how much I respect his abilities, you'd know how proud I was to be in site of he and of course Whit. JJ is a guy I do not know too well, but beyond his well known achievements on the bike, if he's like his Spike Shooter team brethren (the 'Brians'), he's a good guy in my book. Whit 1st, Ward 2nd, JJ 3rd yours truly 4th.

Horseshoes and hand grenades. It felt great and I have not had that much fun in bike racing since...well since I can not remember when. I was with such dear friends throwing down gauntlets that I did not know I could throw at this stage of the season. It's motivation to stay at the very pointing end...solely due to the fun factor.

Hopefully pics later if anyone got any!

George pulled through on the pics!

Last lap! Me, Ward, Whit and JJ....
Conceding 4th...

And Dave Hix got the Video goods!!

Chatfield St. Park CX - 8 Nov 08 from Gregory Keller on Vimeo.


Sunday December 7th 2008.
Arapahoe Ridge High School
Visit DBCEvents for more details.
Co Statecx 08 7

Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

SkiPix Boulder Cup Photos Posted (Both Days!)

Official Race Photographer of the Boulder Cup, SkiPix, has posted their photos of the Boulder Reservoir race on Saturday.

Come check out the Day 1 and 2 Action Here! It's very easy to find your racing category and is sub-categorized by various course landmarks.

As mentioned countless times on this here blog, the photographers are getting more and more prolific and talented. Why shouldn't they?? They're shooting the most gorgeous, pain filled, beautiful, dirty, outrageous sport on earth!

Enjoy Some of SkiPix handiwork!

Zach's Most Excellent Boulder Cup Photos

See the originals here, but you can preview them in this little photobucket dohickey:

Boulder Cup Course Photos - Harlow Platts

Pete's beautiful wife Sally sent these great shots of the course construction and some random race shots. Enjoy! Thanks Sally!

Side view of the steps. UCI Rules enforced that they needed to be 'step like' to be allowed and thuse required rocks then sand to be in-laid to ensure a stable platform.
Close up of the steps.

The DBC crew building the steps.

Me trying to ensure that chase group doesn't gobble me.

Pete on his way to the W

PRO style.

Whit brings an old school schooling right to the podium

Pete 1st, Jon 2nd, Whit 3rd.

Cross Racing Week 8: Everything

Saturday night was tough. I tossed and turned and rolled and sweat. It was a miserable sleep and the body was doing very strange things after the sincerely violent effort at the Reservoir. However, I was mainly kept awake with a mind that was (still) racing. Still playing out the debacle of the race but I’ll confess that most of what was keeping me up was embarrassment. Embarrassment not from my spectacle on the course, but “after” my race on Saturday. Being an absolute baby when I got back to the tent. Helmet thrown into my bag in anger. For roughly 5 minutes I became that surly guy. The guy I make fun of for being a prick. I am thankful for the buds I have who make fun of me and keep me on the straight and narrow.

The pressure I put on myself is unbearable sometimes. I don’t know why. I just do. I always want to be the best. Do my best. Act my best. It’s just a part of my ball of wax and I am the same way now as I was at the hockey rink, soccer field or BMX track as a kid. I’m an old-ish man now and I am smart enough to know what I need and don’t have yet required to be at the extreme pointy end of the field. So, no excuses. The mind needs to settle itself with confidence in what I can do still. What I can still try to achieve.

Last night was a similar night of restlessness. The mind was infinitely happier given the day at Harlow Platts Park I had, yet the body still was reeling from the effort. Sometime around 3AM, I go for what is like my 5th pee of the night. I happen to see the familiar red blinking light of my CrackBerry summoning me like one of Pavlov’s dogs. I see a note from a dear friend. A racing compatriot. You know who you are! His note was gospel. A father to a father. A racer to a racer. It makes EVERYTHING we do in the grass, on the dirt, over the barriers, with our friends….with our families….a true gift. So, I sat in the quiet and dark and read the note. This excerpt of the note helped me deeply...

Many times your posts speak to my core and help provide that confirmation of life priorities that are so hard to balance. We are passionate about the bike, and especially cross, and it has been an ego check this season as my form fades and the time to train to recapture it fades as well. When the morale is bad it gets pretty easy to come up with excuses to not drive 3 hours each way for a 45 minute race where I will be an “also-ran.” But, my daughter is healthy and happy, my wife is the most amazing person in my world and the glue that keeps it all together, and I have employment in a crappy economy – does where I finish matter? And if it did, would the experience of the race, the course, the people make it not worth it? These demons have taken and will continue to take time to exorcise, but in the end, with all that it takes to keep a job and family rolling, I have re-learned that just “toe-ing” the line and leaving it out there is all you can ask of yourself.

Thank YOU my friend. It’s the realization that I get to toe the line with crazy fast people with crazy fast lives. Crazy deep priorities. Crazily precarious balancing acts. Crazy passion.

Everything. We give all, everything. It can not be any other way. For whatever the individual’s reason, those that I line up with every week have a glow about them and they want to unleash. We only get one chance to do this right. No do-overs. No time to rehearse. Give Everything.

On to the race weekend.

Boulder Cup Day 1: Boulder Reservoir
Week in and week out, Brandon and Jeremiah are there for the BCS team…the largest team each week given the number of racers we have out there in various categories…and they’re out there with the tent set up, tools out…ALL preparations made to ensure all of us are our fastest. In the tent, the 35 Open team was gathering…Pete Webber, Whit Johnson, Brian Hludzinski, Durango native and old Boulder-bro Frank Mapel and myself. We line it up at the venue which was absolutely stunning, Joe DeP, Chris G and the entire crew at DBC Events made a thrilling and unbelievably hard course. It is a HOT day baking in the Indian Summer. Temps in the mid 70’s. Call ups got me in the 2nd row in a big field and I chose Brian Maslach to lead me out. “Get your sprint on, Bri” I plead with him to ensure a tunnel through the field at the start. TWEEET!! We’re off and I am exactly where I want to be. In fact, I keep it together for 2-3 laps flowing in and about the top 10. And then it unraveled….

Did I mention the course was super hard? The DBC crew ensured the best rider would win…and those of lesser capabilities would suffer the consequences. I was the latter. The sand was my nemesis. Each time through was a little worse. A bobble here on the first time through the 175 meters of sand, a washout the next time around, followed by an over the bars the 3rd time….and so on. A degrading spiral that got to my head and became a psychological war which was tearing me down, POW-style, lap after lap. Somewhere mid race, I completely unravel again in the sand and face plant into it. Ass over tea kettle and submerse my SRAM Red lever completely in the beach. I get up and my back wheel is not spinning and I note that the TRP Brake Arm is underneath the rim so I have to hammer it out which it does and works fine. I get back out on the pavement and need to make up ground….so I click click click click…to get to the lower part of the cassette. Nothing. I am stuck in my ‘lowest’ gear, a 25. I am spinning circles like a circus clown so fast and dudes are just dropping me. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. I look up and I see Dubba just smiling…waving his hand as he knows I am screwed. I FINALLY come flying into the pits and he’s there with Challenge Tire’s Donn Kellogg and I throw to him and Dubba hands me my freshie. I jam on it and get into the hunt. Ka PLING! Chain is off! This nonsense happened to me at Wednesday Worlds. Later I’d diagnose that the chain is too long and bouncing up and over my carbon guides. I yell out some F bombs and VeloNews’ Neal Rogers is there warming up…smiling at my unraveling. Ha! To make a long story short, I swing by the pits again and Dubba knows the race is long gone and he yells “Just finish ‘er up and have fun!”. My black rain cloud is forming over my S Works helmet and I eventually finish up, mid pack. Surly like a baby who’s Nuk Nuk fell in dog crap.

I get back to the tent and as mentioned, continue to act like a baby when Whit, Dubba and the gang tell me that Pete won…which began to make me smile, and then both and Mapel lay it out for me…telling me EXACTLY what I need to hear. It’s bike racing. You KNOW you’ll bring it tomorrow. Rob hands me a Brat with some ketchup and a beer after that and I am in heaven. Tomorrow is another day.

Group Shot by Rocky Mountain Surfer
Ass shot and dismount photo above by David Kutcipal.
Check out their extensive pics from the day!

Boulder Cup Day 2: Harlow Platts Park
So with the crappy sleep in me, I still have a sense of calm and this feeling that my legs, while tired, may have something. You always get that doubt in you on back to back days of racing of how your legs will respond to the challenge. I had some sense that things would be all right, even though Harlow Platts forever had my name and would traditionally chew me up and spit me out. Between races I’d pre-ride and the course was SPECTACULAR. All grass save for a tricky yet not as bad at yesterday’s sand section. Tons of twists and turns to power up, and out of sections. Good recovery but you had to be strong, nevertheless. Can I just say HOW SWEET my Grifo XS File Treads were on this course?? If you have't raced them on grass, you are doing yourself an injustice by not having file treads and the Grifos are getting widely distributed here in the US with Donn's pushing.

Again the BCS armada is ready to roll. Same squad as yesterday for the 35 Opens. I somehow get another call up (amazing as I keep sliding backwards!) and settle in behind Webber this time in the 2nd row. TWEEET! We jam out on the long paved climb through the start finish where Dave Towle is out again blaring his beautiful voice to all the racers…every category…all day! Amazing. I find myself in 8th or so which is where I want to be. Matty Opp is on a MISSION and is drilling it. We flow through the first turns, up and over the crowded barrier sections and dive through yet more turns before making our way to the back side and sand. We motor through this tight section and WHAM! In front of me goes down Ward Baker and like 2 other guys and I somehow thread the needle with Jeff Wardell and Pete Webber through the carnage and we are gone. Lap after lap I am holding my position. Dropping some, then getting dropped. It’s tight racing. Good racing. Each lap I made the conscious decision to run the sand and it was 50/50. It was as fast as those riding. Each time I would come by my old family, the Rocky Mounts tent as they were the ‘Sand Pit Party’ for the day for DBC…raking and grooming the pits between each race to re-set the conditions for each category. My wife and boys were out…cowbells and all, yelling their heads off. It was utterly inspiring. Each lap I would maintain my gap on the huge field trying to reel me in and yet the group in front of me was just that wee bit too far away to grab and sit in on. The pressure in my brain was surreal as I wanted a respectable result, and I considered a top 10 in this field to be that. Bell lap and I know I am not going to be able to bridge to Mitch and Glen and think I am in 9th, 10th or 11th based upon the crowd’s feedback as they SCREAMED their heads off at me (such a rush!). As I am nearing the end of my last lap I hear Dave say that Pete had won! A back to back weekend for that boy. I smile but I still need to bury myself as the field of what seems like 10-15 are barreling down on me. I pop out from the grass onto the pavement of the start finish, I turn around, exhausted yet a huge gap to the next group behind me. Safe. Done. I took 11th, near my goal but I’ll take it!

All Day 2 photos above courtesy of Longman. Nice ass, Longman.

Everything. It took everything to get that result. 11th. I left everything out there. I took everything in as I did so. I remembered everything the boys said to me in the tent after the Res Saturday. I wanted to respond and be everything I know I m capable of.

And now, let’s do it again. Next week. Same time. Same channel.

Some photos from my good friend Joe Strandell of Peloton Photo: