Man. Sunday felt like I was in a sauna for 45 minutes of sweating. Aside from the heat, it was an amazing day of racing!
When I left Alma it was already warm. It's october, so why fix the air in the car? Days like this, I guess. Warming up for the race was difficult at best. With that kind of heat this late in the year my body does wierd things. I never really know how I'm going to react until about 2 minutes into an effort. Then it's either good or bad, and there's no tricking myself into thinking bad can be made into good.
Luckily for me, two minutes into my first effort I was feeling great. Great is not the right word, because I was riding 'cross in 85 degree weather, which is never really great in my mind. I'll take 50 and rainy anyday for a 'cx race. Anyway, we lined up for the start with the usual suspects minus Roger (Two Wheel) ready to take it to each other. I got a great start behind Scott from New England (in town for a wedding). He went pretty hard but I was very concerned about going at it too fast and blowing up with the heat. I let Scott chill out front for about a half a lap before we gradually caught him going into the first sand 180 degree turn.
Our lead group was relatively large after the first lap (8 strong?). Rolling through the finish line we turned out a pretty good lap. It wasn't long before our group dwindled to 3/4 with a Tree Fort racer dangling on and off the back with Cory Stang, Scott (from Mass), and myself working pretty well together. At the pavement on the bell lap I put one hard dig in and popped Cory and Tree Fort off the group, but Soctt was able to hang. I was pretty maxed at that point and was hanging on with everything I had.
I knew going into the beach run that I needed to be in front to have any chance of gapping him after the run, but I just didn't have the power to get by on the sections that were clear. Scott gave about 5 hard pedals as he jumped on the bike and had a 5 m gap pretty quickly. That's all it took to pop me off, so I rolled in for 2nd place.
Considering how fast our times were compared with other races (we beat both masters classes...which doesn't happen every day) I am pretty happy with 2nd place. It's better than 4th at Bloomer and I'm getting faster.
Next up is the two Ohio UCI races. Matt, Jeff, and I are headed down. I hear other MI'ers are going to show...Foshag, Wiz, Card, Steele, etc. Hopefully we'll be able to light it up.