That cool air we had Saturday night into Sunday morning just screamed of fall and CYCLOCROSS! I got so excited until I realized it's still weeks away. Oh! But I need to get my equipment squared away! I have no money right now, so get ready to see some "for sale" ads from me soon.
I raced Saturday in Nashua, NH, at the Race for the Gate Crit. The race looped around Holman Stadium and included a short climb and a fast downhill to the finish.
We had an unfortunate crash in our race, which sent Leslie to the hospital, and decimated our field. Leslie looked BAD after going down and hitting a cement post that was part of the fencing that lined the inside of the course in that section. (Said fencing is visible in the pic to the right.)
I hope she recovers fast.
The field was neutral for several laps while the ambulance was on the course, then there were only around 5 laps to go after that point. Our team practiced the lead-out, with Sam on front with 2 to go, then me taking Susanne around the last corner. We got 5th and all had a good learning experience.
Our team leader Brooke RACED just 6 weeks after delivering her baby!!!! And it didn't look like she missed a beat. Unbelievable. What inspiration!
After our team meeting, I decided to hop in the men's P1/2/3 race. It was a good course to do this on, not too technical, a loop with a hill and a chicane, and the field wasn't too intimidating to me. After racing Wompatuck with the guys for a few weeks, I know I can stay with them, even be competitive. I wasn't feeling good, though, so I thought I'd get shelled quickly. Not so. Oh, and I got a call up. Skip Foley in his stars-and-stripes was called up to the line first, muscles bulging and everything. Ok, a little intimidating. Then little ol' me. Ha! I thought Richard was going to tell that story about how I won SUCKERBROOK 'cross 2 years ago, but he refrained, watering it down to "winner of several cyclocross races." Oh yeah, I belonged on the front line. The best part was Ward was called up next, and I got to stand on the line and share a kiss with my sweetheart before the race. I wonder if someone got that on film - I would LOVE to have that picture.
So the first couple of laps I spent at the front, even ON the front once. Ward said he was hurting with the blistering pace I was setting of over 26 mph, but I think he was just trying to make me feel good! A break of 8 got away, and that was that. The race was slow. I just sat in to finish. As soon as it was over, and I saw that the field sprint wasn't out of my reach, I wished I had moved up and contested the finish. I actually think I might have gotten in the money! Ward won the field sprint on a day when he felt AWFUL on the bike. That's my man. :) He started a new job in pharmaceutical sales this week, and it's like "bye-bye bike, bye-bye life as we know it." But we will work through this and find a way for him to train with all his traveling and eating out and working, and he will be Captain America again soon.
On Sunday, Ward and I made a last minute choice to just do a long ride. We drove out to my parent's house in Maynard and rode from there out to the Wachusett summit and back. Only 4 hours ride time, but LOTS of climbing. We brought my dad's canoe back with us (part of the reason we drove there to begin with) and hope to get it out on the pond soon!