Nowak Report: Chicago Cross Cup #5- Lansing/SCW

It's been awhile since I put in a report, and for some reason I can't sleep so what better time...

I'm sure most of you saw Gina's report for the Women's race. Sue was on fire today! Great Job. Also congrats to Gina on her upgrade. Careful what you ask for.

Lately I have been racing two races and today was not different. In the 40+, Ed Bartley, Ken Krebs, and I lined up with 36 of our best 'cross friends. The typical players were there, and it would be again another Verdigris House of Pain. Personally my race could be summed up in one sentence. Bad start with a good middle to a terrible end.

For some reason, today I couldn't get off the line, and found my self WAY back in the field. I worked hard in the first lap to make my way to the front, but there was too much congestion, and the lead group was already gapped. So it was settle down and ride with the group. I ended up riding with a few guys and through the sand pit (which was the difference maker today) some guys would get a gap, others would loose out. I mostly rode the pit, but sand would get in your eyes, hair, mouth, etc. I think I'm still picking it out of my ears.

I maintained contact with a group for most of the race and then with 2 laps to go Mike Jones (who did the 30+ just prior), ratcheted the pace up and dropped me and Hank Saha. I tried to drop Hank as he was not having the best day a few time, but he always seemed to claw his way back. On the last lap, I really messed up the sand pit, and he got a gap on me to finish just ahead in 11th and I in 12th. Hopefully good enough to keep a top 10 placing.

After the 40+ I was pretty frustrated as I thought I would go better, but just never seemed to get the engine going. I was thinking of heading home and blowing off the Cat3 race, but I changed my mind and decided to stay. It was a good decision on two parts, 1. I was able to watch Sue and Gina race. and 2. I somewhat redeemed myself.

I got a much better start in the Cat3 race and was near the front for most of the first lap. Small little gaps began to open between riders and I continued to close and/or pass people. I was riding in a small group that was probably about 8th to 11th and feeling pretty good. However that sand pit again gave me fits as I almost endo'ed going thru and lost contact with the group. I chased for almost a lap, but couldn't get back on. At this point it was damage control, and the efforts from the 40+ were beginning to take effect. There was a group coming up one me, but they split apart and only one made it up to me and passed me with 1 lap to go. I ended up 14th, so not a bad race.

Well 1 more to go. Also, for those of you interested, it looks like there may be a bandit next weekend. I'll let you know when I get more info.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see some of you on Thurs.


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