Nowak Report: Chicago Cross Cup Rounds #4 and #5


We all deal with it at sometime in your life.  Those of you who race, you know what I'm talking about.

Well stops 4 and 5 on the CCC series were all about adversity for me and dealing with it.

Stop #4 was the Carpentersville Oktobercross race.  First of all I would like to give HUGE props to Jeff Provisor (owner of Main St. Bikes as well as the promoter for this race).  Every year this event has gotten bigger and better.  Last year they added a Oktober Fest to the race with the help of the Village and this year it was even larger.  In terms of the course, Jeff has improved it every year.  This year he added a "whoops" section (for reference check out video of the Azencross race held in Europe during the Christmas week).  In addition, this is always a fun ride.

Anyway back to Adversity.  I started the race with a call-up, my first this year so I got a front line start.  At the whistle I was clicked in and flying down to the first turn.  Sitting really nice in third place and feeling pretty good about it.  I stayed in the top five for the first lap and then Adversity struck.  Going into the second lap, there was a 180 turn.  I took a bad angle, and slid out, letting a few guys pass me.  Now in about 8th or 9th, I attempted to catch them, but then in another corner slid out again.  Luckily no one passed me, but the ground that I had gained was now lost again.  Again, punched it and started to gain some ground when into the sand pit (which I had been riding all the way thru) I lost momentum, and came to a halt.  I dismounted as fast as I could, but now 3 guys passed me.  Now I'm laying in 11th.  Again, put it on the gas and slowly pull back some ground.  Then the final straw...  I lost it.  Now it was all about dealing with this and trying to get to the finish line without loosing another spot.  Through the twists and turns I see a Colavita rider slowly making his way to me.  I felt like the prey and he was the predator.  I kept trying to give it all I had, but sure enough he caught me just before the finish and passed me.

Now normally I would be pissed, but I knew that I battled through my misfortunes and kept giving it my all.  In fact after I got home I looked at my heart rate from the race and it was the highest for any of the races yet this year.  So I knew that I had done all that I could and "tipped" my had to the others.

Stop #5 was our race.  Not much to say about this.  Up late on Sat. making sure everything was ready for setup/registration, and then waking up in the middle of the night to hearing rain drops in the gutter.  Needless to say I got about 4 hours of sleep.  Finally got out of bed around 5am got some coffee really quick and headed out to Sunrise Park.  My race didn't go so good as you would expect, but did pick up a few series points.  Overall, I had a great time.  We had very few issues and the couple of ones that we did have we were able to deal with them quickly.

The most amazing thing about being there all day was to see the Cat 4A and Cat 4B guys race.  I typically head home after I race and rarely see them race.  What a great show!  For those of you who have NEVER seen a cross race and would like to see one in action, you need to watch the 4B race.  Sure it isn't pretty, but the enthusiasm and effort that these people show is unparalleled.

As a team, ABD is still in 10th which is really good considering the teams in front us have some huge numbers and good riders.

I would highly suggest that you head out to St. Charles this weekend.  Hope to see you there.


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