Awesome weekend of local cross racing... On Saturday, I did a race in Morgantown, WV named the Marilla Park Cyclocross Race, or Raza De Los Muertos (Race of the Dead), which was promoted by friend Marc Glass. On Sunday, I traveled north to Cleveland to do another Lake Effect Cycling Team Cyclocross Series Race in Kirkland Park. Both course were well designed and a lot of fun to race. I am happy that local cross racing is starting to grow, both with the number of races and the depth of the field. Traveling 4 + hours east every weekend takes a toll on the body and the mind, for me anyway. My plan is to race locally over the next few weeks, while I build for Nationals. I may not be able to race against the fastest master racers in the nation this way, but I do think that it will allow me focus more on training and less on traveling.
I finished 3rd to Steve-O and Wes on Saturday. Wes is very smooth and strong on a cross bike. He rode away from Steve-O and I with what seemed to be very little effort. I was definitely impressed by his strength. Steve-O and I had a good battle going on during the remainder or the race. Unfortunately, we became entangled over the barriers on the last lap, which caused me to flat. It would have definitely been much more fun to battle Steve-O to the finishing line, rather than worry about doing a wheel change and riding in alone for third. But, I am sure we will have another chance to do this again sometime this season. Thanks to Marc and the other WVMBA Guys for putting on a great race.
The Kirkland Park Race was set in a small park in downtown Cleveland. The course was very twisty and had three run-ups, which used cement stairs to force dismount off the bike. Two of the run-ups were very long, probably about 25 steps, or so. After doing 11 laps of this, it definitely made for a hard race. After the first few laps of cross course chaos, Paul Martin, Ernesto Marenchin and I were able to get a gap on the rest of the field. I pretty much lead the race then until the last lap. My goal was to try and drop Paul off the pace, perhaps through the tight turns, with hard accelerations out of the turns. I did get a few small gaps, but not enough to drop Paul. Eventually I knew Paul was going to use one of his trademark powerful attacks on me and my fellow speedgoater, Ernesto, which he did on the last lap. Neither Ernesto or I had the power to match his powerful effort and he rode in for the win. I finished second and Ernesto was third overall.
I am working midnights this weekend, so no racing for me. Andy will be travelling to NJ for two MAC Races, though. I have decided not to go out to NJ the following weekend for the USGP Series and will race in Cleveland instead. I just don't see the point in spending a ton of money to race in another weekend of USGP Races when there is something closer to do.