No, I'm not whistling a little tune, I am trying to clear out the dust and phlegm.
I got my first cx race under my belt for the year and what better way to start than the USGP on Saturday. It started out cloudy and in the 50's; the course was dusty. I had no expectations for it because, well, really why should I? My lack of expectation was good because otherwise I would have been angry that the call up guy skipped a whole page and instead of starting in the third to last row of 80 riders I got to start in the last row.
This is us waiting to get called up.
I wanted to work on my starts and being aggressive the first lap at this race. Starting in the last row ruined the start for me, but it gave me opportunity to exercise my aggressiveness. I was passing guys on the flats and in the corners when I could. Until, in a 180 turn, one fellow laid his bike down right in front of me. I ran into his head set, stopped, then I hit the throttle again. In the first two laps my heart was in the high 180's bpm. It peaked on the run up on the first lap at 198bpm. My first lap was my slowest by 30 seconds.
I spent the rest of the race reeling people back in my own little race.
I was eyeing up guys I knew and trying to bring them back.
My laps got faster and my heart settled nicely (in between 175 and 180) once I wasn't hitting the brakes in many of the corners.
In the last two laps it started to drizzle. I had two guys I was trying to catch. The last lap, I just about closed the gap when I laid my bike out in a gravel corner. They got a few more seconds on me. My wife is starting to understand what motivates me at races and instead of saying "Good job, Marc!" she yelled "It's the last lap. Don't punk out now, Marc!" I couldn't catch the two riders, but I tried.
I finished 5 minutes down from the winner of the race, who was putting up lap times that would have made him a top ten contender in the pro race, so I'll take that kind of gap.
I am stoked and ready to start racing the local series next week!
Lauren took some great photos of the races.