Monday, November 05, 2012

Dark Horse Stampede - Cincy 3 day 1

Considering how much rain we've had in Cleveland, the first day of the Cincy 3 weekend was beautiful. Sunny skies, mid 50s and the course was dry in Covington KY. This is the second time I've been to this course, and the third time at the Cincy 3 weekend. I raced the Cat 2/3 45+ races for 3 consecutive days.

Covington is a hilly course, A slight downhill start, into a down and up turn, before sweeping into the amphitheater bowl for the first time. Down and Up, and UP towards the barriers, then down a paved hill into the first pass of the pits. Up hill grind back to the bowl and a screaming down hill, then a punchy climb before descending to the four log barriers. I could hop two for sure, three maybe, but holding your momentum for all four was to chancy for me. Then another long up hill grind before descending back to the pits, and a paved climb to the finishing straight.

Fourth row call up meant I'd play it cool until it strings out, then go to work at driving the twisty bits, and hoping my climbing legs showed up. I had intended on running the 12-27, but the tire on that wheel was not hooking up... I've had problems with the tread on it, and it is time to replace the tire now for sure. Instead I ran the backup wheel with the 25 cassette. Not optimal but doable. 30psi in the tires worked out alright for me today.

The start went as expected, I was in the front 20 or so into the first section. A pretty uneventful race, as I guess a good result should be. I was turning well, and climbing OK. I would pass guys on the twisty bits, and loose a place or two here and there on the different climbing slogs. I ended up picking up three places on the last lap as guys were totally blown. Every time I passed one, he'd completely disappear behind me. I caught the last guy on the up hill climb, and he didn't even try to sprint to the line.

I finished in 22nd overall, 12th place in the age group. In hindsight, I may have made a couple more spots with a 27. I used the small ring on everything except the paved descent, and a little more climbing gear would have been nice.

Tow more reports to go, as it was a BIG race weekend.

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