Two fer one here, as I am pathetically behind in race reports. Let's get right to it....
I'm so busy/indeisive these days that after rolling a tubular at SBC I arrived at Gloucester with 4 sets of tubular wheels and 8 tubular tires.... all sitting in my basement. Fortunately, tires issues did not factor into the racing Glouceseter weekend, but it would have been nice to just ride and not worry constantly about flatting the one set of clinchers that I brought with me.
Note to self: move "skake down the cross rig" up the calendar about 4 weeks for 2011.
Day 1: Got in a decent warmup and began to circle the course as they called us to staging. Starting position is so important that Gloucester adopted crossresults.com points to stage all non-UCI (read amateur) racers. It is clearly the most accurate ranking system on the planet, right guys? As I'm approaching the staging area, what I hear and what I see are not computing. My ears hear "second call to staging" but right in front of me I can see that there is already 6 rows full of racers. Wait for me! Wait for me!!!
Shit! cr.com points had me about 24th... 3rd row... and by the time I got there I was in the 7th row! While the rankings are super fair, they used to be just for fun. Now that big races are staging by them, it's effin stressful. I suck bad enough and don't need any help cementing my mediocrity.
So after suffering with cold sweats for 5 minutes the whistle goes and I make a JAILBREAK move up the left hand side and into the first right hander. A bit of bumping and some extra confidence and two turns later I'm right about up to where I was supposed to be. Sweet! It always works itself out you see.
Then the real racing starts, and I start getting passed left and right. I see Peter Sullivan, Sheldon Miller and Jon Bernard coming. Awesome! These are the guys I raced with or in front of last year! I'll just stick with them! Right! right? They rode through me like shit through a goose. I finally settled in with Aaron Millette and Don Snoop, both of whom are super smooth and really showed me some great lines around the technical Day 1 course. I didn't feel great until the last two laps, but still didn't have enough to shut down any gaps and rolled in 25th.
Day 2: Uphill start on day 2 and I was blocked from the gun. I couldn't move my legs for the life of me. Every pedal stroke hurt... not was hard, but actually hurt... for the first three laps. I lost 4 spots everytime through the start finish hill on those first three laps, there was no where to hide as the wind was right in our face. Finally with 2 to go the pain went away, but the damage was done. I got away from Brant Hornberger but couldn't bring back Kevin Buckley and finished 37th. The results are packed with guys I've never heard of before, all of whom seem to be riding up in the top 20. The effect of this influx of talent is that I'm getting pushed down in the placing.
It sucks getting old.
The tailgating was some of the best to date and Charlie did great in the kids race, racing up in the 9-10 field despite being 8 yrs old. I'm not one of those psycho loser parents who brags that his kid can wipe his fanny 2 days before the average kid can - well, sure I am - but my point with putting him in the older age group is that I kind of wanted him to feel that he could still have fun when there was no chance he could win... just like I do every race. Anyway, afterwards he told me that the best part of the race was the beginning, where all the kids were racing towards that first turn and they were bumping into eachother. Gotta love that.