Thursday, November 18, 2010

Infirmary Mounds CX

The more posts I type, the less I want to talk race report type details, because usually they're pretty boring details, especially for you to read... but this week is different!  I hope...
Sunsetting behind us on the trip up.
First though, the trip - Christine and I headed north late Saturday morning with a planned detour to IKEA en route to Columbus, OH.  I've been hearing about this place for years, but had never seen it for myself.  Believe it or not, I got out of there with only a 2.99 wall clock!  But... when time comes to furnish a house, some serious $$$ may be spent in that blue and yellow building!  Next up was dinner with Farmer and BWE at Carsonie's Stromboli and while it's no Little Caesars I guess it was alright (actually it was outstanding!)  From there we enjoyed great company and a low key evening in C-bus, a good night's sleep and  a tasty breakfast before hitting the road for Infirmary Mounds Park near Granville, OH.
Farmer and BWE
Then of course was a cyclocross race -- or something like that... details later, first we'll finish the trip.  Post race dinner (lunch? supper? who knows?) was at Brew's Cafe in downtown Granville, the home of Dennison University and yet again, great food!  Something about a juicy cheeseburger to replace all those burned calories tastes amazing.  By now it's late afternoon and we've got 4 hours of driving left... so what the hell, why not break it up with a stop at an outlet mall?  Turned out to be a fun and productive stop (made the lady happy too) and we still rolled back into the 'Ville by 10ish.

NOW.... back to the slightly less boring than normal race details!

Based on pre-reg I knew that the Kiel brothers from Lilly Greygoat would be tough and Scott P and a couple others could ride away with it just as easily.  Off the line I went for another hole-shot and lead through the barriers.  Smart or not, I'm usually more comfortable setting the pace than following so for most of a lap I pounded away trading a pull or two with Ryan K and soon there were just three of us off the front.  My legs felt pretty good and I was taking good lines but felt like Trebon squeezed between Powers and TJ since it was me plus the Kiels.  I knew a one-on-one battle would be easier to handle than trying to race teammates, brothers at that!  So every chance I got I'd attack the shit out of the course until finally it was just Matt and I trading turns on the front.

It was awesome to execute a mid-race strategy so well and create the 1on1 race I wanted... until Matt opened a small (2-3s) gap.  I tried to close it in the whoop-di-dos and took a two wheel drift into a stake. He looked over to the sound of the snap, saw me track stand and took off.  I chased hard for a while but he'd gotten just enough gap to be out of site on most of the course and that did it.

OK Ray, just race hard and take the second step!

Or maybe not, one lap to go and here comes Scott P from Team Hungry with his own plans for second place.

Exiting singletrack with #3 close behind.
5 seconds back... shit! He's on my wheel!!  It's fine, relax, just save a little and take him in the sprint?!  As we rolled by the pits for the last time some buddies cheered him onward and he attacked with more than half the course remaining... so much for saving some!  Turns out he burned that match too early and just as he let up I struck my own match to dive into the last single track with the lead.  We both cleaned the "run-up" and weren't more than a second apart coming into the last turn.  Coach was standing there cheering and reminding me to go to big ring... great idea!  Or not... my front derailleur didn't respond so down the cassette I went.  Once on pavement I stood up and he conceded, but it was also promising to have that hole-shot burst left at the finish!!

After 40 minutes of racing, second place with just one mistake, and a third podium in 8 days!  I'll take it! AND it was enough to climb back into second in the series, just 4 points out of the lead.  There are about 10 guys that could potentially win the series after 11 of 15 races.  Looks to be an exciting weekend in Indy in a few weeks!


  1. Great report, Ray! Good luck this weekend.

  2. Who took those wonderful pictures? They are so good. ;)