Race Report - Velo CX

8:00 PM

I’ve long known that entering a race with no/low expectations is usually a good start to a positive race day.  For me, having a detached attitude is exactly what I need to push myself into the ridiculous levels of pain that cyclocross demands.  Sometimes when I have a course that plays to my advantages it is difficult to get into that “flatline” frame of mind - not so with Velo Cross.

Right from the get-go, the course is usually not my friend.  Flat, flat, flat - it winds its way around the grounds of the National Sports Center in Blaine.  The designers made some improvements a couple of years ago with technical turns along a steep verge, but there is usually too much open ground for my non-roadie legs to cover.  This year they added a new platform feature (a bit gimmicky) and some hefty reinforcement to the Little Guy barriers: 

Ok, they don't look that scary, but trust me, they didn't move...
My timing on lifting my front wheel on the cross bike sucks - a fact that I was painfully reminded of on my first warm-up lap when I attempted the mini-barriers and ended up on my face.  It turns out I can run faster than I can endo.  

The race itself was surprisingly fun.  I found great lines through the twisty turns, and gained more confidence every lap with my new wheelset (mmm...tubulars…).  A little chopping and barging on a competitor’s part was all I needed to fully commit to painful accelerations and burning lungs.  I generally don’t ride angry, but when you push me into the tape on purpose it apparently awakens my competitive spirit.  The rest of the race was aggressive and clean, so I was able to gap the ladies behind me.  Unfortunately, I needed more time to catch the woman in front of me - perhaps a more aggressive start would have put me in a better position to do this.

It was nice to have a good race experience, as the last month has been challenging for many, many reasons.  It is also a nice time of the year to find my cross-flow, as I will be heading down to Jingle Cross to get my butt whipped in a few weeks.  Always easier to take the beat-down if I remember how much fun I can have on a cross course.

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