[UPDATE] Nowak Report: State CX Championships

You did what?

Yes I did!!! I made it over to Montrose Harbor today for the IL State Cyclocross Champs! I was quite a bit apprehensive about going as I was not feeling all too well when I woke up on Sun. morning; headache, scratchy throat, tired, but my goal of staying in the top 10 of the 40+ was in jeopardy if I didn't go, so what the heck.

Let me first say that Chris Dimmick and the Turin crew did an OUTSTANDING job of putting together today's race. I talked to Chris after the race and found out that he and a few other people were out at the race site SHOVELING and SNOWBLOWING for the past 3 days! Outside of a few areas, there was at the minimum of a one lane path to ride in, but 75-80% of the course was wide enough to pass.

Overall the course threw everything at us, fast gravel and pavement sections, slick technical turns (and LOTS of them), slippery uphills, two LOOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGG
GGGG runups, sketchy snowfilled downhills, and lots of slop (just like any other 'crosser would like!).

As I was doing a last recon of the course and coming by the start/finish area, I noticed that people were lined up and the official was counting bodies. I made a bee-line for the start and snuck into the first row. I peeled off my extra clothing and was ready to go. I got a pretty good start, around 10 to 12 back. We made it thru the first technical section without any wipeouts (I think), and then it was to the runup. I shouldered the bike and went hard passing a few people. At the top, I got on and hit the downhill hard. The unshoveled snow was like sand on top of ice. At the bottom of the downhill was a 180 turn with 2 barriers and then another runup. I hit the runup hard again and dislodged a few of the guys that I was trailing in the overall. In front was two Turin guys (Dimmick and Steel). In and out of technical sections and slop, I kept them in view. At the beginning of the second lap, both slid out in a corner with Steel dropping his chain. I caught him and we then continued to open space on the people behind us for the next 5 laps. With two laps to go, I was leading Steel thru a corner when my back wheel slid out and I went down. He gapped me and then I was caught by one other guy. I was determined to not let him pass me and keep him at bay.

On the last lap, we were really going well and in the last technical section I looked up and Steel was just getting up and putting his chain back on. I gunned it to go past him only to be shut down by the tightness of the course. I tried to sprint past him in the final straight, but these old legs can't do that anymore.

I figured I did pretty well, but had no clue on placing. As it turned out I was initially 28th (WRONG!!!) and after talking to the officials, I got my proper placing of 7th, one of the best results of the year.

Also in the 40+ was Mr. Scotty Boyd who I believe was in the top 15 if not even the top 10. Ed Bartley was also out there and I believe he may have been in the top 15 also.

I know Gina Kenny and Sue S. where in the women's race, but I didn't get a chance to watch it as I was dealing with getting my placing right.

Not sure if anyone else was out there, but it was a great day for 'cross, and for me personally a great way to end the season.

Well, I just got my skis back from being stoneground so now it is time to wax and to switch to x-country skiing.

So I'll either see you on the white stuff, or in the spring.

Thanks for reading!

Gina Kenny Adds:
I know Tim Keeley and Jay Corgiat (sorry, if I spelled your names wrong) were there. Jay raced the 4A's. I think he said he got mid-pack. Tim appeared to be doing well in the 4B's. Sue got 4th!!! in the Women's 4's. Way to go! I did my first Women's 1/2/3 race and learned that I need to practice sprinting up hills and running, as that appears to be a weak point for me. I'll just say it was a learning experience and a humbling experience.

Hopefully some of the other ABD-er's that were out there can give us a report as well.


Kenny & Bartley Report: Wisconsin CX Championship

This was the first true cross race of the year. I actually drove up on Saturday and rode the course. It started snowing while I was there making my preride nothing like the actual race.

The course had probably about an inch of snow and was a mushy, and in places, muddy mess. Turning became sketchy with me having to place a foot down from time to time and going down in the small sand pit. Between the Women's Cat. 4 race and the Men's and Women's Cat. 3 race
there was a small break to pre-ride the course. It started raining during this -- not drizzling but raining. I did wear rain gear for the warm up/preride but I was absolutely drenched by the time my race was over. Remarkably, I was not really cold during the race except for my feet.

I was hoping to do well in my first Cat. 3 race but, with the weather, most of the girls opted to stay home. There were six of us. Scanning the group, I knew my hopes of not being DFL in the race might be dashed. I ended up sixth, DFL. I had a bad start and had some "rider error" -- first, it was only my second time racing cross in the snow and I think I need more practice to feel comfortable going harder and practice actually mounting in wet, slippery conditions. Secondly, I listened to some advice on a cycloss forum about wearing two pairs of shorts to keep my butt warm. My butt was warm but the second pair of shorts slid down and kept getting caught
on my seat.

Eddie Bartley competed in the Masters 40+. His race was a little after mine. It had stopped raining and I'm not sure if the coursewould have been in better or worse shape by that time. I cheered him on for part of his race but I was freezing and my 16-month-old was bouncing off the walls in our CRV so I didn't stick around to see how he did. Hopefully, he'll give us a race report of his own.

We are supposed to have much better weather for the last Chicago series race. The forecast is for 40's. It'll seem balmy!

Eddie adds:

I had a great time today with all the mud and what felt like ice water in my shoes the whole race.I got knocked off my bike in the first turn from the start .Boy you loose momentum in that stuff and its hard to get going again.And the running.Stuff that I would normally ride I had to run so today I had to learn to shoulder the bike.I know I lost places on the runups.Did I say run, YOu had to run completely to the top where the hill leveled off before you could get back on your bike and get going again.I don't think I made it to 4th gear today.All in all it was alot of fun and I learned how to shoulder my bike in a proper manner.I was in the red at the top of those runups.

I can't think of a better way to spend a cold rainy day.This was the complete package.Rain snow mud and Ice water.I've been Baptized into cyclocross today.Oh Gina my feet were frozen.I think neapreame sock would have been the order of the day.Dangit and I have a pair too.Oh yea I finished 7th in the 50+.There were about 12 of us mixed in with the 40+.Last chance to suffer next Sunday at Montrose harbor!!

Eddie Bartley