Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sac CX #3: Penn Valley

Some mornings you get up and you feel like you really shouldn't have gotten out of bed. And today, I should have listened to myself.

After arriving home from the Bay Area late Friday night, I got a late start for my 1+ hour drive to Penn Valley (outside Grass Valley). After missing my turn off, I got to the race at 9:36. Unfortunately, the C mens race started at 9:30. Crap. Not willing to just pack it in after the long drive, I signed up for the Men's B (Under 40) class and waited around until 12:30 PM. I got a little pre-riding in and watched the 'A' Men's for once. This was entertaining, and Junior Cody bunnyhopping the uphill barrier was pretty sweet.

The course was longer and more challenging than the two previous Sac CX races. It clocked in at a normal 1.93 miles with 70' of climbing per lap, but it had a little bit of everything: 3 barriers (one double set), 1 sand pit, 2 run ups (although they were ridable) and a few gulleys (but no whiteknuckle descents).

The course went like this: Singletrack, barrier in the woods, more singletrack, crap loose corner, uphill barrier which I ran up and remounted, pavement (with speedbumps), down into the sandpit, steep climb to get out, more pavement, back across the grass field, through the woods, up to race official and then double barrier. I've marked the map above with some of the obstacles (click to see it larger).

My race can be summed up with one word: outclassed. Or maybe 0wn3d. Even, suck*ss. From the get go, I was off the back, struggling to keep touch with a MTB guy ahead of me and fighting off a lone staggler behind. Through three laps this race within a race continued, until I lost my chain riding up the pavement. The MTB guy charged ahead and lost me here, but the straggler was nowhere to be seen. I continued on through the race, not riding bad, but certainly not competitively. The extra 10 minutes started to wear on me and I was crying for the bell lap, when I heard the lead peloton gaining on me. I kicked it up to finish with them -- but they were on the bell lap so I got pulled, down one lap. A nice little DFL was my prize, as the lone straggler evidently DNF'd. Overall, I finished with 5 laps at 00:43:33 (but down one lap) for 12th place.

I ran my usual cyclocross bike since I was travelling all week. However, the tires were a good choice for the wide array of terrain we faced today. And I was especially pleased with the sand performance.

I haven't seen the results posted yet, but I got a quick picture of the "leaderboard" that the organizers had posted. Click the picture to get a high resolution version.
Post race beer: Spaten Oktoberfest. A classic, drank in honor of the start of one of most favorite months, October. Malty Martzen brewed by the originators. Nice. 5/5 stars.

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