Sunday, November 30, 2008

Boss Cross #2 - Platte City, Missouri

Had to skip Jingle Cross this year. Not sure if it was the 6hour drive, hitting the road at 5am Saturday morning and getting home at Midnight Sunday, or the fighting for that last money-paying spot (25th) in the UCI Elite race. Maybe all the above! No Worries since there was a local race going on. Turnout was moderate since so many people made the trip to Iowa, but descent numbers considering the change in weather. 30 degrees and an inch of fresh snow made a most of the tight off-cambers turns un-ridable. The course was super fun and technical and required more finesse than pure horsepower. In fact, there were only a few sections that you could really put the power down without worrying about sliding off the course flat on your back. The course started uphill in a parking lot and quickly led into a long grass climb that was tough to ride as the race went on. I preferred to stay on bike and keep the bottom of my shoes that much cleaner. After preriding the course, I figured just keeping the pedals clear and getting clipped in and out would be the main issue. Once up the first climb we dropped back down across the road and hit a treacherous off-camber left with the double barries right after it. Back across the road up and short climb, then traverse across the hill and down a short hill. Then the fun really started. A tight right-hand turn led up a short run-up (ridable early in the day), followed by a run-down since right at the bottom, you made another hard right and back up. Shortly after this section was the days big head-ache. A steep run-up that was just straight up and slick. Had it not been for a few terraces cut into it by the race organizers, it would have been hard to get footing. The approach was all off-camber as well and it got really tore up, so you had to dismount a ways out. Once up and over this wall, was a tricky off-camber descent back onto the pavement for a short section then back on the grass for more tricky un-rideable turns then onto the paved start/finish area. There were only 4 of us signed up and only 3 made the start line. On the start line, they reduced our race from 60 to 45 minutes. I got the holeshot so I could pick my line up the first slippery hill. Once I got out front and got a gap on Andrew Coe (SKC), I just kept a steady pace and made sure I didn't make any major screw ups. It was usually faster to take the conservative approach rather than try something that could be faster but more often foolish. Each lap the bike got about 2 pounds heavier and the climbs that were rideable were becoming a less ridable. Surprisingly, my shifting, braking, and pedals worked perfectly for the whole race. Had we went the full 60 minutes, all 3 might have stopped working. I think I was having a little more fun out than than Andew was. This was more my kind of course than his. However, he can make me look silly on fast dry course. Shane Lee (Free State) held down the 3rd spot.