Sunday, October 28, 2007

Just past the half way point

Damn. This season is going by fast. Time flies when you are having fun. Surprisingly light attendance this weekend. I didn't see many familiar names in the Kentucky results. Where were you guys??!!!

We just past the half way point this weekend and I past the half way point for my cat 2 upgrade. There are 6 awesome weeks of racing left before Nationals.

Dayville was a good warm up for Canton. Lots of rain, 60% singletrack and very small fields. There was one moronically placed set of hurdles that claimed the season of one of our good pals. They put a set of hurdles in a covered bridge with a downhill dirt road approach. Hey, I'm all for a challenging course, but not dangerous. With the rain, you couldn't see in there. Matt Simpson (Feltslave) took a nasty crash into the barriers and was left with a concussion, a broken nose and 7 stitches. We wish him well on a quick recovery. We probably should have spoke up before hand. But nobody wants to be the one to do it. Next time, I'll be the one.

Canton is becoming a monument on the New Belgium calendar. A race to show at. Lots of hard riding, fast corners, the famous Boston Cross mini-hurdles, and much wind on your nose. Polar opposites, with on exception. Awesome people all around.

We got to Dayville in time to see Dan and Tony finish strong in the cat 4 race and then we watched GeWilli kick some butt in his Masters race, eventually earning a nice 4th place. Nice rides, guys! The Women's 3/4 race looked like a Hup cross clinic. The good doctor focused hard to earn 2nd, Sarah came in just after Rebecca in 3rd and Kerry looked super-strong despite not having a warm up and a bit of a frantic pre-race preparation. Our race got underway with 10 guys on the line. I knew that Ronnie, Josh, Colin and Matt would be the guys to watch. I grabbed the hole shot and led up into the sandpit and through the first bits of singletrack. Josh pulled through for a brief moment before losing his front wheel. I don’t recall seeing him again. Ronnie pulled through into the run up and then I took over again after the start/finish for the start of lap 2. I controlled the pace for lap 2, feeling the effects of not riding since last Sunday. Colin came through on me in the sandpit of lap 3, got a gap and pegged it. That was the last time I saw him. Ronnie and I shared the work for the next 3 laps, but I botched the remount and little downhill after the run-up coming into the bell lap. He got a gap and I rode hard to close it down. I just made contact going into the sandpit, but he rode away from me. Ronnie has a big motor. I conserved on the last lap and tried to ride smart to hold onto me 3rd place.

Canton was a great show. It was a little odd that the cat 4 race had over 90 guys and the 2/3 race only had 50. Did a lot of the 3s do the ¾ masters race? I got there in time to see Tom N have a sterling ride in the cat 4 race, right up until a flat on the last lap. He was rockin’ in 5th. That fella is consistent. Nicely done, Tom! Mattison showed some good legs with a strong finish and Tony did well in what I think was his first double weekend. The ¾ women’s field was very large at around 30 I think. Smiles (Dianna) showed everyone her killer remount skills. It’s nice to have a great teacher for a new hubby. Sarah rocked for another top 10 and Kerry looked really good after a better warm up for a top 15 I think.

I thought I won the first race of the day getting to the front row. Then they put the IBC and NAV teams on the front. Oh well. Second row ain’t bad I guess. It was a pretty stacked field. But we missed Yash, who was on the sidelines with injury, and Scott, who was probably hung over from a wedding the night before. Yash was there cheering like a mad man. He’s the best.

The gun goes off and it’s a mad dash to the field. I got a bit swarmed and entered the field pretty far back. I think Josh was on my wheel and he said he was in the 40s. I took every opportunity I could to move up on the first two laps, but there was a lot of soft pedaling going on due to traffic. I eventually worked my way up to a good sized group that contained Kenny, James and a few other familiar faces. Colin M integrated with the group at the same time and then proceeded to shred it with a good attack going up the start/finish hill with now 3 to go. That was just what I needed to get me going. Kenny was right there and we latched on. I kept seeing Myette on some of the switchbacks. He did a storming ride for 4th. He got pipped at the post though by one of the NAV guys I think. Back to where I left off. Poor James had a bit of a fumble in the low hurdles and his derailleur got sucked into his wheel. Total bummer. And then Kenny got a flat. Again, total freakin’ bummer. I got caught behind James a bit as he was suffering his mechanical, so there was a gap to Colin and NEBC Scott. It took some work, but I caught on going into the hurdles by the pit. We got 2 to go and it looked like our group of 3 might work well together to catch Thom Parsons just up the road. But Scott crashed going into the run up and I wedged my front wheel between his down tube and front wheel. Thankfully, we both had the calmness to get things untangled quickly, but Colin was up the road never to be seen again. I buried myself on the last lap trying to catch him and I could feel Josh starting to come up on me as well. That youngster is getting fast. I had a feeling that after he got the mechanical gremlins off his back, he would be a force. But, there was’t enough real estate left for either of us to accomplish our goal. I had to settle for 8th just 3 seconds behind Colin and Josh was just behind me. I was very happy considering the last time I did a B race at Canton a couple of years back I was 42nd and thought I had a great day.

Next weekend is the huge Chainbiter/Cycle-Smart Verge weekend. I am already feeling pumped for it. The goal is to improve on the 30th place I had at Gloucester. The stretch goal is still that one Verge point I want so badly.

Send some good wishes to Yash today. He is going under the knife tomorrow. And also to Matt, who is recovering from his crash on Saturday. Heal quickly, fellas!

7 comments:

Colin R said...

Nice racing with you Saturday Zank! Note how I cleverly avoided Canton because I ain't got the watts...

And what's up with Colin Murphy stealing my name in race reports? Makes me sound fast, anyway.

gewilli said...

thanks for the shouts on Sat Zank! YOU DA MAN

JB said...

for what it's worth, I was helping out at the registration tent for a while, and the hup people stood out to me as being friendly (I think I reg'd you, can't recall exactly). It was a generally friendly and appreciative crowd - except when I was holding out the "2 to go" lap card in the M4/W3-4 race :-)

Thanks for coming out!

Josef

josh said...

1 more lap and I had ya ;) great ride, you were actaully about 5 wheels up at the first turn, and then you took off and I didn't see you again until that group came together like 2-3 laps later and i was a bit behind it.

pass along (another) thanks to the dr. for the cake.

colin, you're a wimp. a good racer can handle any type of course.

FELTSLAVE said...

Zank - it was great to finally meet you. I remember seeing your name in the results last season, I have heard a ton about you from Zoo, and one day I will own a Zank CX bike. Josh tells me you helped calm my wife, I appreciate it a ton. I am beggining to feel better, last night was my first night sleep since the accident. You raced well Sat, I look forward to seeing you all again on the course.

Robert said...

Z,

It was good to hear you cheering for me. I hear you loud and clear.

BT

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