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LAPRD Cyclocross Race #5 - 11.8.09

posted Nov 11, 2009, 9:59 AM by Tyler Wertenbruch   [ updated Dec 16, 2009, 3:36 PM ]

No other way to start the month of November than with a cyclocross race! So I was super stoked to wake up to a cool, bright, sunny fall day and looked forward to the Livermore cyclocross series held at Robertson Park.  Showed up at 9:45am- plenty of time to register and warm up for the 11am Men’s B 35+ race.  Uneventful prerace regimen-managed 3 laps of course recon before the start.  During these 3 laps I noticed right away that this was going to be a very different race than the October 3rd race I did.  The front side was grass that was pretty packed down and was very twisty and turny with mostly right hand turns to get you nice and dizzy.  The backside was even more interesting as the dirt was very loose, especially in the corners.   The dismount section remained the same with the 3 logs.  Then there was a run-up this nice little hill to get you to the straightaway for the drag race to the start-finish.  Once thing I noticed about the course was that because of the fast packed grass and the loose dirt, tire pressure was gonna be key today. 

I rolled the first two warm-up laps with 40psi and felt slow on the grass.  I decided to run up to 45psi for the last lap and it felt a lot better as it was definitely faster rolling on the grass section.  This would come back to haunt me later!!

So off I go the start/ finish to get a good spot in the line-up. Very low-key atmosphere and managed to get a front spot for the 35+ B group. We staged together with the 45+ group so there was about 50 of us.   The whistle gets blown and off we go.  It was elbow to elbow to get the whole shot, but I decided to let the other guys duke it out and settled in around 8th or so.  I managed to hold this spot through most of the front side of the course on the grass until a nice u-turn where my front wheel washed out from under me.  Bam! Down I go.  I was only down on the ground for a second or so, but noticed that I gave up about 5 spots.  Right away I noticed some pain as I hit my knee on the bars as well as a twisted seat.   I told myself it’s definitely better to keep racing and keep the knee loose than stop and let it get all tight, so I kept going.  I managed to use my legs to twist the seat back into the forward direction, so I was good to go.  The remaining 3 laps remained uneventful, except where the dismount boards are that you have to hop over. For some reason, on the 3rd lap, I decide to step on the top of the last board, instead of in front of or in back of it.  Note: this was almost a fatal move as my foot slipped and caught the edge with the spikes and can just imagine the shin pain I would have been in had I not had spikes.  NEVER step on top of the board- always over the board!!  With 2 laps to go, this kid, and I mean kid, comes riding up the group of 3 I am. He was with the open B’s… Heart rate pegged, I still managed to take a quick once-over glance at this guys ride: single speed with platform pedals!! Yes,- this guy was passing me on the flats on a single speed with running shoes!!!  Not knowing if the other 2 guys I was with knew, I shouted, “dude- that kid is on a single speed and is wearing tennis shoes!!! We can’t let him make us look bad!!”  So the chase ensues.  At the start of the last lap, the kid is starting to pull away, so again I shout, “watch out kid, we’re gonna get you!!”  This seemed to fire up the other 2 guys in the group as we close in on him.  At the start of the back side, 1 guy falls off, so now its 2 of us chasing “the kid.”   As soon as we approach the run-up to the straight away, I tell the other guy “this kid is toast.”  So we work together and slowly make our way up to the kid.   I am third and noticed the other guy I am with is starting to fade as the kid is pulling away.  So I shift and let it drop a few gears and get on it and managed to get back on the kids wheel.  I sit there, grimacing, know that I am enjoying the kids draft and am basically using him for the draft and pull. Then with about 100 meters to go, I stand up and make the move.   This kid stood still as he had no gears. “Why?” you ask did I pass this kid even though he was not in my age group?    It was more a moral victory and out of principal that I wasn’t going to let a kid on a single speed and wearing worn-out tennis shoes beat me today!!  As the dust settled and the results posted, it looked like the little washout on the grass definitely cost me a top 10 finish as I ended up 14th.  Oh well…it was a blast and a great workout!!   Okay…time to get back to icing the knee and some Aleve