Hodges Race Report

A little late on this one, was busy finishing up a little training block after last weekends races.  Anywho, the weathers been great here.  Its starting to get a little harder to get motivated for those morning rides with the chilly mornings, but as soon as the sun comes out everything gets warmed right up.

So the Hodges SpyClocross course was brutally painful.  In my mind a little more how CX races should be, a little more going up and coming down, and utilizing what our local terrain has to offer.  My buddy Kurt G spent a few hours digging a nice trench, which was rad until two dirty drunkards decided to start hauling mud from the lake and throwing it in the trench.  This made it tough for some to clip back in as after the mud ‘pit’ there was a nice long sandy beach section which just clogged up cleats.  It also provoked a good bit of whining from the ‘pretty’ boys/girls who are used to the dry socal cross races.  (Seriously, it was some pretty gross mud though)

Kyle leading the first few laps.  Photo: Phil Beckman

There was a decent little turnout for our race, including Brandon and Kyle Gritters who decided to come down and beat up on Brent and I who had tired legs from racing the previous day.  The race started at a pretty quick pace with Kyle getting about a 15 second gap off of Brent and Brandon.  I was left chasing after getting stuck behind a slower rider after Ted Willard broke his chain on the climb.  It took about two laps of me going all out to bridge the thirty second gap.  Even after I caught up with Brent and Brandon it was tough for me to hang onto their wheel, I was halfway thinking of dropping off and riding with the guy behind me for 4/5th.

At this point Kyle was still off the front by about 10-15 seconds, and Brent was chasing with Brandon behind and myself following.  I was still hurting bad and unable to help Brent put the chase on, the whole while Brandon was comfortably sitting in.  On about the 5th or so lap Kyle dropped his chain after the run and we finally caught him and everyone was riding together, with me still hanging on the back, and finally starting to get a little recovery.

Somewhere near the start of the 6th lap Brandon got in front of kyle, who was in front of Brent, and put in a solid attack.  With his brother sitting up slowing the pace through the grass section, Brandon was able to easily get 20 seconds on the group.  We rode the rest of the lap in the same order, then Brent was able to jump back in front ok Kyle and try to start working on Brandons lead.

Start of the last lap… Photo: Phil Beckman

At the start of the last lap I could tell Brent was exhausted and I moved to the front to try and possibly (i knew very unlikely, but you never know when someones gonna make a mistake or have a mechanical) close the gap on Brandon.  Kyle jumped behind me, which I was hoping would have been Brent, and I went as hard as I could to possibly try to shake Kyle hoping that he was exhausted from riding off the front for the first few laps.  Unfortunately I was also pretty exhausted from racing the previous day and playing catch-up for part of this race.

Kyle stayed behind me until the final straight away to the finish and let me lead out the sprint.  Total rookie mistake!  I knew he is a super strong sprinter and experienced road racer, and I really shouldnt havent been leading out the sprint.  Anyway he managed to pull around me and beat me by .6 seconds. A little bummed to let second place go like that, but still happy with a podium, especially after racing the previous day.

1st-Kyle Gritters, 2nd-Brandon Gritters, 3rd-myself, 4th-Brent Prenzlow, 5th-Scott Lundy, 6th-Johnny Weir

The CX skills are coming along nicely, and the biggest thing I have to start doing now is racing smarter, and more tactfully.  Ive decided to finish out some more races for the cross season as I feel it is building good fitness for racing mountain bikes next year.  Not to mention how much fun I am having racing with these guys, really thinking of doing some traveling next cyclocross season.

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