|Nice barrier work|
Starting the season with a big race in Wisconsin has been great the last couple of years, but returning to Minnesota the following week is always a bit of a let down. To go from a start list of 30+ women riders (just in category 2 and 3) to a local women’s 1-2-3 field of eight…well, it is a bit of a bummer.
After a year (?) off, Metal Cross returned this year as a two-day Cyclocross Rider of the Year qualifier on a new course. In a word, the course was fun. There were two tricky sand sections on a beach, a long but nicely ramped railroad tie staircase, a punchy climb, and a fast descent. The only negatives about the course were length (it was pretty short) and the fact that you always found yourself off your bike (3 separate barriers + a run-up? clearly they were trying to compensate for course length). Oh, and the music was decidedly crap - shouldn't you play metal at Metal Cross? I swear on one lap they were playing Madonna.
And the race? For me, not particularly eventful. I just wasn’t in it right from the start. The 1-2 women charged away, and after a disastrous trip through the sand pit I found myself gaped. Within the first two laps I realized that I could keep away from the rider behind me if I just rode clean, and couldn’t really muster the energy it would take to chase down the rider ahead of me. I was safe from DFL, and picked up (yet another!) water bottle for my pathetic podium.
I don’t know. It may be that I am a bit over-trained. Or it really could be going from last week to this week, but I just wasn’t engaged in the race at all and I hate that. There is nothing worse than being half-committed to a race from the whistle, getting a crap result, and then feeling unsatisfied that you didn’t get a glorious performance from your just-sticking-my-toe-in-the-water commitment. I can’t decide if I am ticked at myself for not trying very hard or for lining up at all. I can say with absolute confidence that I worked a lot harder in my workouts last week than I did on Saturday.
It wasn’t all bad. Racing an actual cross course in Minnesota, as opposed to the ever popular grass crit, is always a great workout. And the sand was fun. And I picked up a $10 gift card for Twin-6…