Devon Dairy Queen Double Dipper

My third race in the Expert category went down this morning. Fun times – challenging course with the conditions we had which were slick clay and mud that really caked on the wheels. I was riding tyres that were the shape of my fork and my seat stays for much of the race, nicely moulded that way as the mud was scraped into that shape. I felt like the course was going to be not the kind of course I would find it easy to pass on. really quick accelerations would be required, so I opted to go to the front off the start and make people pass me. I rode about 3/4 of a lap in the lead before some guys went to the front and really started pushing the pace. The whole race sped up at that point and by the time we were two laps in (of seven) I wa running about 6th place which was where I probably belonged.

In front of me were 3 guys who have all upgraded from the sport category this year already, there is no secret, the novice field had been pretty tough competition earlier this year. The truth is though that the cream has also been skimmed off the top of the Expert field over the course of the past 6 weeks with a bunch of upgrades. In any case, I felt like I was placed well and rode the next 4.5 laps in that position really fighting to stay there, even though I was quite a ways off the lead I still felt like I was battling it out which was totally fun. The mud caking was tough for me but it got worse for the women who raced next as we chewed up the course and mooshed all of the leaves that were nicely initially shielding our shoes from the mud into the mud. In any case the womens race was a mud-fest. The Elite men who raced afterwards however had far more favorable conditions as the course started to dry out, by the end of their hour the course was really improved. OK, back to my race, in the end we pulled in Tommy (Juventus) because he had to disconnect his front brake due to mud an couldn’t go as fast anymore. We nearly caught another Calgary cycle guy who we were rapidly gaining on (400m more would have done it) who had a stick and mud jammed in his cassette and was restricted to his easiest two gears. I wound up fifth. Not bad at all!

The elite men were great fun to watch – footage follows:

In the end it would have been nice to see the fast guys struggle with the worst conditions of the day instead of the best. It’s amazing what a difference of just one hour can make. A few more photos follow – Derek raced sport, Lesley, Bridget and Karen raced with the Women and Jon, Andre, Dave, Mike, Mark and Peter all raced with the Elites. I was the lone Hardcorian amongst the Experts. Quite a fantastic showing by the club today!

Photo from gallery: Cyclocross 2009
Photo from gallery: Cyclocross 2009
Photo from gallery: Cyclocross 2009
Photo from gallery: Cyclocross 2009
Photo from gallery: Cyclocross 2009

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