Thursday, September 15, 2011

2011 Huber's Apple Cross

Huber's Apple Cross: <n> 1. (2nd) Annual cyclocross event hosted by the Bob's Red Mill CX Team on the rolling property of Huber's Family Farm near Starlight, IN.

This year BRMcxLou partnered with Scheller's and the Radiotherapy Centers of Kentuckiana for a full weekend of fun, learning and racing. Ryan Trebon helped kick things off with a clinic at Eva Bandman Cyclocross Park, the home of 2012/2013 Master's World Championships and 2013 World Championship CX races. It turns out that he's not just fast, he's a pretty cool guy too! He managed to teach everyone from beginner masters racers to 11 year old kids something in two short hours with calmness and humor that aren't so apparent on race days.

Off the line
Next up was the Jude Clark Cup on Saturday and luckily all the parts arrived to build my new Stevens Team Carbon with SRAM Force goodies the week before. With one off road ride squeezed in while laying out the course the bike was all set. The bike handled great, looked great, and felt fast! During course layout we'd had steady misty rain, and it looked to be perfect cross weather, but conditions 'improved' and we raced both days in mid 70's and sunshine. As racers arrived and pre-rode the course, we (the course designers) got a few mean looks but after each race those same people sang praises. There were power sections and off camber sections and a double sand pit and flowy turns and really just about everything but mud!

Off camber
So how'd my race go? Not all that different from last year's Cat 3 race except for the part where I lined up a couple grid spots from Ryan Trebon (yes, the guy who took fifth at Cross Vegas last night!) I've always been a fast starter and generally a slow finisher early in the season. The whistle blew and what do ya know - I'm side by side with Ryan through turn one and on his wheel in turn two. He was smooth and was a good wheel to follow until the "run-up" that I knew the fastest way around. Then, without consideration for who I was racing, I passed him on the inside line only to think moments later that it was the dumbest thing I'd ever done in a race. Why on earth would I provoke him?! Anyways, I mixed it up a little longer in my first elite CX race until Ryan dropped a 1200 watt acceleration out of a turn and rode away from the field. From there I went backwards. I was missing either the lasting power or mental toughness to latch on to anyone as they came by and finished eighth of nine. Still lots to learn, but one positive to take away from the day - the speed is there, fitness can be gained.
From the whistle
Half way through lap one with some tall guy on my wheel

Out of the sand

Sunday's Oatmeal Cup course was the reverse of the previous day with a handful of changes and arguably a little harder. Thunderstorms were in the forecast but the clouds only got within site, never dropping rain. At the start line I was still undecided on how to approach the race - go out hard and hang as long as possible or start conservative and try for negative splits. The whistle blew, feet found the pedals and I went to the front - yes, I took the hole shot in my second elite race. I lead to the sand and rode through, only to get passed by Josh on foot. I retook the lead a couple turns later and kept the pace high but certainly wasn't trying to drop anyone. In the straights I routinely suggested that Ryan come on around and take over, but he seemed content with the pace. Riding the run-up was easy on lap one and soon we were back in the start finish area and I was still on the front. By now I knew my race was nearing it's turning point but the only option was to push onward as long as the legs would carry me and finallly Ryan came by just before the sand pit and rode away with Mitchell chasing him down for a bit. I went backwards again and finished tenth of eleven - not the end result I'd like but experience and added fitness were gained.

Noteable points from the weekend:
Riding the run up on my sweet new Stevens
  • My Stevens Team Carbon is awesome - the fit is based on my BG road fit with a few minor tweaks and I don't think I'll change a thing (except lighter bars/stem)
  • Helping with course layout for two days takes a lot of energy from the body, but it's a lot of fun!
  • MUST work on long duration power - the hole shot doesn't mean a whole lot an hour later, but this is old news.
  • It's going to be a great season racing for Bob's Red Mill CX Team. Thanks to Stevens Bikes, Carroll Composites, Challenge Tires, Panache Cyclewear, Princeton Tec Lights, and Mad Alchemy 
Thanks to Marcia Seiler, Patrick Owen, and Paula Smith for the photos.

And just a little more proof that I made it a full lap, this is the "run-up" about 80% of the way through lap one, thanks to Sherri Thompson.

1 comment:

  1. Pleasure watching you race; was glad to have the opportunity to take some shots!