After winning the last two races in the De Stad series, I was excited and a bit anxious going into the race today. I had a great week of training and felt really good during warm ups. But, with so little experience racing cross, I wasn’t sure what to expect today–from me or the other racers. If nothing else, this race provided me a great lesson, one with a gigantic exclamation mark!
I remembered to pre-register this week and was rewarded with a great starting spot: first row, 2nd from the inside. The start was a long straight on thick grass into an off-camber right-hand turn. The turn was nasty, or at least could be in traffic, so I was focused on starting strong. The whistle blew andwe were off. I briefly rubbed shoulders with the guy on my left but wasn’t moved off my line or slowed down by the contact. I turned into the corner riding in 4th place. Perfect.
I held my position through the first couple of turns and the barriers, and then used the nasty little climb near the middle of the course to move into to first. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in front this early but I felt great and had plenty more juice than the other guys were riding with so far. I rolled through the starting straight, through the off camber section and up the steps with plenty of speed. After the barrier/run-up I started to think about pushing the pace up slightly. That’s when things came apart…or, at least my back tire did. I rounded a 90-degree turn and felt the back tire bead roll. End of the day because I forgot to pack my spare wheels! And, considering the standings, the chance for winning the series is now pretty much out of reach.
I’ve been pissed ever since the race. To waste the time and effort to be physically and mentally ready; to spend the time and miles to drive to Leavenworth; and, to be off the front and feeling strong only to loose it because I forgot to pack spare wheels is simply unbearable. Lesson learned! Now, I gotta forget about it and get ready for the last race of the series, which is also the Kansas Cross championship.
The bright spot of the day: Rich Anderson, who’s 1st in points and finished 2nd today, offered for me to ride his spare bike. That’s what I love about this sport…the sportsmanship to offer up equipment just to allow another competitor to keep rolling is cool beyond words. Thanks Rich!