Sunday, 18 November 2012
I Gotta Drop The Deuce
Actually, before the race, in the start grid, I really did have to drop a deuce, but it was kind of too late for that. Also, that's not what this story is about. This story is about getting second, for the second week in a row. Spoiler alert!
Off the start line, I had a good bag of mojo and went with it. Kosta had a good start too, and I almost told him "if you want it, take it" but then thought I'd just take it and did. I was going fast enough that no one would be tempted to try any crazy late passes onto the grass, but it wasn't like I was seeing black or anything, just going comfortably fast. Thought I'd be ambiguous about having the lead and let Kosta go in the turns before the sandpit. It was kind of hard to see where you were supposed to go there, and he got f'd up by it and wrecked it into the sand, I couldn't get around and started to run. Charles A and Jeff flew by, Charles B squeaked by, and I was fourth when I got going again.
Charles A was going pretty fast up front, it took a while to catch him and Jeff, which I guess I did past the pit on the high side. We all ran the last little chicane bit before the finish of lap 1, and by this time we were getting toward being a pack of five: Jeff, Matt C, Jason L, Charles A and me. I've come to the conclusion that I don't like not leading if the race is going to get slow, so I wind up leading a lot. At some point Jeff pulled the rip cord and left our group, and we were just four of us going hard. Props to Jason for riding his balls off in the jersey, but he fell over trying to ride over the log thing (which he'd done a few times - it was a fast move when done successfully). My game was just tear shit up in the front, especially after Jason fell out of our group. I figured my best move was to get to the chicane before the finish having treated Matt and Charles A to a very hard pace for however long, lead through the chicane, and hope that leading onto the pavement would be the buffer I'd need against two guys with good sprints. Well...
It was all going just exactly to plan. Jason was kind of starting to come back a bit, but we were way way way off the front from anyone else. I went down the chute, made the turn and headed back up. Charles got off and ran, and did a wicked smart thing, trapping me between the tape and him. If I'd made it up the hill, I'd have beaten him easily because the penalty of his remount time. Unfortunately, I needed to get left to make it up the hill and couldn't, because he was right there. I got off and rand my ass off, keeping Matt behind me. Charles got a bit of daylight and sprinted well. I held Matt off for second (you read that correctly - I outsprinted someone), Jason took fourth. Now I have the jersey by I think 6 over Jason, which is neat. Again, great job to him for making me work my ass off to get it.
Not super thrilled about coming up short for the win again, but the jersey is good consolation. I think that while I'm sort of good on every course, I have a long way to go still in the turns department. The cross bike got dragged out at least a few hours before the season started, and it just hadn't worked out that I've had the chance to practice a lot. Of the guys that have been in the frame in the races this season, I'm lacking in fast turns. The switchback shit I'm good at, my barriers and transitions are good as hell, and I'm pretty much the guy who's driving the pace. But all of this is going to get real irrelevant soon. I'm going to race Cap Cross Master's B since I get to race in a jersey and when the hell is that ever going to happen again. Sander confuses things because I feel like a twat racing it since I should move up, but what the fuck it's one race and if I have a shot to win the series that'd be cool. But the guys from the A race are giving me shit for not moving up already.
Rockburn's a great race. If I had been smarter and had had more time, I'd have brought my mountain bike and ridden that after - you're AT Patapsco when you're there.