I discussed strategy with Eric before the race, and I was to not kill it the first lap, to try and have some strength to finish hard, hopefully together with Eric.
Well, I got a good start, grabbed the holeshot, and when I looked back a few minutes later it was just me an unlucky #787 with a sizable gap to the chasers. 787 passed me before the barriers, but I passed him back when he had tire trouble a bit later in the first lap.
I held a good gap for the next lap, crashing once but recovered pretty quickly. Passing through the line after lap 2 Luciano announced that it was now a Cyclisme Team Time Trial, with Eric coming up on me. Eric passed, I dangled back a little bit but was able to hold on to 2nd comfortably. I hope I can hold some good strength for the 2 days of the USGP at PIR. This has been my best cyclocross season so far, and remarkably is going the way I planned it, which is to be peak near the end.
Dave Wingard, DeyShaun and Naiqwan and Aurbey also all had good races. Pictures are from Jim Long and richtheneighbor. Aubrey raced a fixed gear CX bike! No pics of him yet.
I should have written this up sooner, as my memory is lousy with details. Aubrey, Cameron, DeyShaun, Naiqwan and I all met at Naiqwan's and drove over to PIR. I thought with the rain and wind it would be nice to have a dry place to keep the clothes, etc. Aubrey rode the yellow MTB I've been loaning Naiqwan, while Cameron rode the Jamis team bike that DeyShaun keeps. For their first cross race, they did admirably well, finishing right near the middle of the 120 deep Men's C group.
Eric and I were up next in the Mens B 35+. The course was really wet, with a single really deep and long puddle, and a few peanut buttery mud sections and two super slippery off camber sections.
I felt great, and passed a bunch on the first lap and was riding with Eric. Near the end I started to fade a bit and he kept getting faster. Eric took 5th and I got 8th out of the 100 man field.
Naiqwan and DeyShaun rode well again, taking 7th and 13th places in the 32 racer Junior Men field.
I was really pleased with my best Cross Crusade result so far, and that I felt strong after racing the previous day.
Driving down to Salem we were amazed at the lack of rain. Naiqwan, DeyShaun, Aubrey, Dave, Jake and I headed South at 8:00 am for Aubrey and Dave's 10:00 am race.
The parking lot was cold and windy, but the racecourse was very cool. Although it was pancake flat, it had a bit of everything else including: flat paved start, bumpy wet grass, gravel section, sand pit, mud, barriers, grass headwind sections, indoor soft dirt horse arena, indoor motocross section with jumps and a big berm, and a live band playing.
Aubrey had a blast in his first cross race, taking 8th place in the Beginners Men category. Dave added to the points with 13th place in the Master C's.
Eric and I rode well in the Master B's with Eric taking 6th and me 11th. Eric and I are Yin and Yang in the races. I start hot and fast, and when I start fading a little at the mid point Eric starts coming on stronger and finishes hard. The intersection of these points is really fun, when we're racing together.
At noon the juniors took to the course. Naiqwan and DeyShaun both rode well, with Naiqwan coming out on top with a 4th place finish in the Junior 15/16 category, and DeyShaun just behind in 6th place.
Next, Jake gladly took up my offer to use my cross bike instead of the mountain bike for the 1:00 pm Men's B race. First lap he was sitting in about 4th place, then he pulled away and convincingly won the B's. His fitness really showed.
All in all a great day on a beautiful course, with about 100 or so points scored. The so-so photos are by me, the good ones are thanks to Shane Young and Bike & Hike.
DeyShaun, Naiqwan and the O'Brien family all headed out through the fog and mist to Astoria for the famed costume race. Intermittent blue sky was encouraging.
2 hours later, we pulled into the lot, right on the edge of the fog break. We hustled over and signed in a paid up. Naiqwan and DeyShaun didn't get the memo that it was a costume optional race, so DeyShaun announced that he was going to be dressed as a "bike racer". We saw Eric, who had a nice 7th place finish on Saturday, earning a coveted call-up position. I saw my lucky number 6 would get the 2nd to last starting slot....again.
After warming up, I put on my bloody Dr. Pain scrubs and it was go time. The race course was awesome. Slippery, technical off camber, a bit of climbing. I felt great and had a good race, with just one minor crash. I actually got ahead of Eric somehow, but he passed me back on the 4th or 5th lap.
DeyShaun and Naiqwan did great, taking 5th and 8th places. Eric took 14th, and I came in 20th. I'm feeling good, confident I can hang with the front dozen or so racers f I can just get a decent start slot.
We drove home tired and happy. We stopped at a cool fish ladder on the North Fork Klaskanine river. Naiqwan and Danny both gave it a thumbs up.
Next up, state CX champs in Salem on Saturday Nov. 7th, then Crusade at PIR on Sunday the 8th. Hope to see you there!