Friday, September 18, 2015

Local Racing...

This past weekend I jumped in a couple low-key local races in the SWMO area and it felt good to rev up the motor to race pace two days in a row.

Hanna's Hope CX was Saturday and I'd helped Robert Ellis, a doc with CoxHealth, set up the course and was interested in the turnout as SGF is not a 'cross friendly town.  Amazes me how many road and mtb'ers there are who don't support local racing outside with wheelhouse...  Oh well, it is what it is and that's a whole different topic.  The weather was great and the course marked/flagged/taped spot on and while the turnout was low we all made the best of it.

Kuat and Queen City Cycles provide tons of support to
make this season exciting

The 'A' race and Single Speed fields were combined and maybe a total of 12 competitors toed the line at the start.  My plan was to keep pressure on from the start and see how long I could hold intensity as the first race of the year you never know where one stands.  After 45 minutes things went well fitness wise and technically and I finished 1st. 

Course had 5 dismounts per lap which was great to
work on the technical skills

Kit and bike color combination works really well

Solid guys sharing the podium

 A quick review of a couple items   The Focus Mares bikes are great and while there are many things I like about them the thru-axels (front and rear) might be my favorite.  Super solid in all cornering and let me push thru a little quicker/harder than previous years.  I'll do an entry just on the bikes at a later time.  Second is the Northwave Extreme Plus MTB shoes.  I've worn Specialized for the past three or four seasons and was interested to see how the change to a lighter and stiffer (which is not always great for 'cross) pair of kicks would perform.  The answer - flawless and super quick on the run.  Plus, they simply look awesome with the current color combos of kit and bike.

Up next on Sunday was Mountain Madness MTB race in Warsaw, MO (a short 1 hour drive - nice). I had hoped to do the three-hour marathon race, but with a later start time and not wanting to miss Darion's soccer game in SGF I opted for the 18 mile SS class.  Turnout for this event seemed low which is a bummer as the promoter, Mac and crew, put so much into each event they host.  Anyway, 1hr and 18min after the start I won the class (which wasn't tough to make the podium with only three in the category - ha!).  Winning was not near as important as giving 100% effort out of every corner and on every climb; it was a day to simulate the constant punches of 'cross so with that it was a fantastic day as my legs and body responded better than expected with some zip and pop. 

And yes, I did make it to the little man's game 5 minutes prior to it's start.

Up next is Jeff Yielding's Dogfish CX weekend in Hermann, MO.  It's the last year of this event and has been known for being Missouri's signature kick-off event for several years.  Lots of memories at Jeff's race with the flooding of my pop-up camper topping the list (crazy weekend).

JP raced the USAC event at Vegas yesterday and had a great time and excited to be back 'cross racing.  Always a tough transition from a long road season

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