The 2010 CX season started yesterday at the Kansas City Cup Challenge, a two-day festival of CX and MTB racing in Swope Park. The folks at Heartland threw one heck of a party–great racing, Boulevard Beer on tap, and even a giant blow-up jumpy thing for the kiddos. About the only thing missing was CX weather. It was too damn hot and humid for racing.
The course was more MTB like, with a long section of single track through the woods. Despite the mtb feel, it was still all cross and fun as hell. The start was at the bottom of a short steep hill, then after the up-hill drag race, the course twisted through a grass section before jumping out to a long section of pavement. After another short, turny spot in the grass complete with a cute triple set of barriers, the course dropped into the woods for the long run on single track that finished with a tough little climb to the finish line. The single track proved to be my nemesis on every lap.
For some reason I’m still trying to resolve, I decided to start on the back row. At the whistle, the pack was split pretty much into two groups. And, since I was on the back row, I was immediately off the back. Wee-haw! I made up several spots in the grass section, only to give back two on the pavement section. When we reached the single track, I was mid-pack and racing on Chris Locke’s wheel. I stayed there for 2 1/2 laps. When we started the single track for the 3rd time, I watched Chris slowly ride away. By the time I rolled back onto the pavement, Chris was out of site. My hands were blistered from gripping the bars, which caused me to change my riding position. That shift cause my lower back to cramp up…and did I mention starting at the back of the pack? Yeah. I wasn’t in this one–physically or mentally. During the rest of the race, I gave up 3 spots in the single track.
The highlights: bunny hopped the barriers on every lap, great corners, perfect pedals at the start.
I’m with Chris: CX starts in October! I also need to work on a few things…like properly preparing for a race. I made it to Swope with no watch, bad bearing in the front wheel, and worn out gloves. I’m considering buying a new pair of lungs, too.