Monday, November 05, 2012

Kings CX - Cincy 3 day 2

Day 2 of the Cincy 3. A flat course with only 1 set of double climbs (camel humps), a run up, and a single set of barriers and a cool flyover. Derek and I did a number of laps on the pre-ride that indicated big ring everything except the climbs after the camel hump, which were ridable. It was cool, but supposed to be dry...

Sprinkles started about an hour before race time, another pre-ride lap showed some slick spots. I should have dropped my tire pressure, but left things at 30psi for the race. More rain started, nothing crazy hard, but totally changed the lines and feel of the course.

A lot of guys missed their call ups, so I got a third row start position. Got a good start, getting through the first technical section in the top 20. Bike was driving well through the off-camber turns, and right before the run up, in a totally benign section fo the course, the front wheel went out, and I was down. I ducked expecting to get completely run over by 10 to 20 guys that were right behind me... no damage to speak of, up and I did the run up and jumped back on the bike, only to find my chain was off... stop, get the drive train working (another 10 spots!) and I'm off again.

Clean through the camel hump, I rode the first climb, and ran the second because of traffic. And it's time to start picking off places that I had lost. So, I'm sitting somewhere about 50th, in a small group and decide to make some passes. I got a little aggressive through a long straight section heading inot a quick succession of turns, get by the group open a small gap and drop it in a greasy section around the last tree... sliding across the whole course, I boxed up the guys behind me. The guy on my wheel is standing on my bike! As soon as he's off I pull it out remount and again the chain is off... get of, straighten out the bike, and I've lost another 10 spots or so...  One and a half laps in and I start thinking about how to get through the course clean. I'm being very careful around the corners, and taking no chances. I'll save it for tomorrow and riding at about a tempo pace.

Last lap, I'm battling two other guys. Who are gingerly taking things off the bike, and riding about my pace on the bike. I decide I'll put in an effort to dispatch these guys. Do the run up hard, still cautious on the turns. Take the camel hump as always, I ride the first one, and shift to ride the second. The shift is a little goofy, so I dismount half way up and run the rest. Remount, and ride the downhill when my pedals start going around on their own! I'm on a fixed gear heading downhill! Not wanting to rip off the rear derailleur, I get my feet off the pedals, and try to get to the bottom of the hill before sorting the chains... I don't make it.. slide out, and have to again sort out the chain.

Lost the two places, but not by much, so I push the pace on the straights... and bring them back. I make an agressive pass on the second to last straight, and then push the last up hill straight to the finish. The other guys had different ideas, and both get by me well before the line. Blah! 63rd place out of about 80. 32nd in my age group. Not what I was hoping for.

In hindsight (and under advice) I should have run the tires at about 25psi. So a learning experience for sure. I'm still a beginner on tubular tire pressure. If I could have saved the first and second falls, I'd have been less tentative in the remainder of the race and been able to pull out a better result. The third issue had to do with tweaking the derailleur in the first two falls. Still, one more day of racing to go, so I was going to treat it like the tie breaker.

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