Nov 7, 2011

Ciclocross Català


Yesterday was my first CX race in Les Franqueses del Vallès, about 30 mins by train from Barcelona. There were 104 riders.

The course was dominated by a stream bed that we rode into and ran out of three times per lap. The circuit featured mud, grass, puddles, pavement, sand, barriers, and a steep climb into the woods. It was raining but this was my baptism so I was expecting to get wet!

Just before lining up racer no. 86 noticed my number (98) was pinned upside down. I jumped right into the pain-cave on the first straightaway which was grass; by the second lap my mouth felt like cotton. My race rig is a work in progress: I'm riding a Surly Cross Check this season with plans to race an IF frame next year. My gearing (53x39; 12-28) is silly for 'cross. The Cross Check is neither heavy nor light; the geometry feels more attuned to urban riding or touring than racing.

One of my strengths was running with my bike. Although the Surly was uncomfortable to shoulder I decided to lose style points and push the bike ahead of me as I ran the run-ups. I noticed I was faster than stronger riders in these sections. Since my fitness is not there yet I assume my longish legs give me an advantage.

I finished third-from-last out of 29 in the Masters 30 category. Honestly I wouldn't have been disappointed with last. The field was strong and it was a victory crossing the finish line. I don't think I would have given chase had Oprah and Stedman passed me on a tandem. I was just trying to stay upright, but I will definitely take this as motivation to pedal harder at the next race in Mataró on November 27.

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