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Cross Nationals - Bend, OR - 12.10.09

posted Dec 16, 2009, 3:31 PM by Tyler Wertenbruch   [ updated Dec 16, 2009, 3:36 PM ]
I feel disappointed at my race results, but happy to have gone to enjoy the event. My master's group raced at 1pm, the warmest part of the day. I had a good warm-up in Ed and Trina's tent sitting on the trainer out of the wind for an hour. I started OK on the left side of the 4th row. It was 12 degrees and icy. At the gun I had problems with the WD40 on my pedals making them slick, but got clipped in and rolling after losing about 5 spots. We went about 150 meters, turned left, went up a small hill and left again. That was where the first crash happened, and a bunch of us had to dismount and run past the poor guy and his bike. We caught back on in the straights and then headed into technical stuff under some trees, where there were more slide-outs in the ice. I made it most of the way around the course before my first slideout on ice - wound up taking out about 20' of course marking tape and jamming my front brake under the rim. Got going again but by this time was near the back. There is a Utube video of the Juniors at the same corner where I ate it. The video has 5 riders falling in a span of 49 seconds!

Made it around the course again, passing some guys, and then I flatted the rear tire. It was well glued so I rode it half a lap on snow and ice to the pit where I grabbed the Kelly Secret Weapon bike. Carried on riding and sliding until I was lapped by Paul Curley. He knows how to ride the snowy conditions, and as always, was flying. I learned he was a pro in Europe back in the day - no wonder he schools the field. The officials asked lapped riders to withdraw so the leaders would not be obstructed, so I did one more lap and pulled out. I had hoped for a better race - at least not to get lapped. The flat tire on the opposite side of the course from the pit pretty much spelled my demise. I finished 42nd, at least not DFL.

I raced on Thursday. By Saturday temperatures were above freezing and the course got a lot better, at least in terms of slip and slide. The organizers also changed the course to avoid one treacherous ice section that was used in my race. The course was 3.2 km and lap times for the pros were around 6 minutes. The organizers made a very spectator-friendly course where you could watch a lot of action from one spot. Deshutes Brewrey is a major sponsor and we enjoyed our share of their fine product - the beer tent was right by a flat-and-fast dismount section which made for great spectating. Bend is a very sporting town and tons of folks came out to watch. At the start finish the crowd was 4-5 people deep the whole way. I'll get some pictures up on line soon.

Dr. Moreau