I’m a bad cyclocrosser. At least, Sunday’s race left me feeling very unskilled and so not pro. Sometimes you feel great and just know that you’ll do great. Then something happens and it all goes to pieces. That’s the story of my race on Sunday.
The last Asheville Cyclocross race of the season was held at Pisgah Brewing. It’s a fun venue and always a fun time! Going in, I felt rested and excited. Asheville CX self-insures and doesn’t mess with USA Cycling sanctioning, which takes the pressure off and lets me just race for fun. So there I was. I had a great warm-up and got a couple of pre-ride laps in on the course. When we staged, the A women started in front of the B men. This was a little weird since they started to catch women about half a lap in. Now, I KNOW the importance of a good starting position. But I figured being on the second row was fine and that I’d make it up with no problem. Well, ha on me. I had a rough start and ended up in the back of the field. I knew were I could be, and decided that I was going to get there one way or another. I think I got so focused on making up places that I lost focus on racing well. I ended up snagging a stake and tape, rubbing tires and falling, dropping a chain over the barriers, and failing to unclip fully in a crowded rush to the barriers again. Ugh. I was pretty annoyed with life. I did settle in and ended up making up 5 places from the end of the field twice, for a 14th out of 19th finish. I take that as a personal victory. I wouldn’t have been able to make up those places before. If I had raced smarter, then I would have been in the middle of the field, where I know I belong.
But, even with all that, I still had fun. I still smiled, I still felt great (once I got off the ground each time). I earned my delicious post-ride beer from Pisgah Brewing. I got to be surrounded by awesome people and get hoarse cheering on the Master’s and A men.
Here’s to hoping I got all my mistakes out of the way for the season and learned all the lessons I needed to learn before starting the NCCX series!!