So today is August 6 and I have been in 'cross mode since the middle of July. I guess that isn't 100% correct because I'm in 'cx mode about 2 weeks after the season is over in December. It doesn't take me long to start thinking of the pain and suffering that will be in the coming months.
This year will be quite different as I'll be moving back up to the A's where I left off as a junior. Granted a lot has changed since then. Back when I used to race there was no separate "masters" category, rather you raced in the A's 35+ or under 35. That made for some nice sized fields and as usual it wasn't the under 35's putting the majority of the hurt on everyone.
This year the Ithaca GP is taking a similar approach on getting the "elite" field back up to where it should be, numbers wise. Also, the fastest 35+'ers can probably hang in the top 10 of the Elite race anyway, if they can stretch their effort to a full 60 minutes. It'll be interesting to see what happens! Speaking of the race, this year's event is coming off pretty well now. Sponsorship items have been showing up at my doorstep and online registration will be opened up in the next two days. John Osgood put together a shirt for us, which will only be sold as pre-orders available through the race reg website. Check the Ithaca site for pics, as they'll be posted asap.
Last night I went for a ride with the Alma Tuesday group, which was nice for no other reason than I got to ride with a group. Mike Seaman, Napper, Randy, Sally, Jeremy, and I headed out but after about half way, Mike and I were the only ones left. Considering the fact that we had both done good interval rides earlier in the day, our hammer fest wasn't at 100% but it hurt nonetheless. It felt good putting it down in a two man TT for about 25 minutes. Mike is definitely pretty fast right now. Hopefully my speed and endurance will come into form like it did last year.
I don't think I've ever been as excited for a 'cross season as this one. Despite knowing that I'm jumping into a category in which my expectations aren't to win, I'm looking forward to being back up with the fast guys of MI. I figure I have a lot of experience that most people moving up don't exactly have, so maybe that'll put me 5 minutes ahead of the learning curve for anyone else moving up. Speaking of that, it'll be interesting to see how much things have changed this season with a few 'crossers leaving and a few coming up. I understand that Joel Budacki along with Jay Moncel are gone, but who is going to make the leap up to the A's? Jer Walker is back in town and won't take long to jump back to his former form. Will Cory Stang or Patrick Russell move up? Roger Bowser has shown some form on the road earlier this year. Will Tony the Giant Killer make a move? If Justin Todd wasn't taking 3rd place he was nipping at the top 5 all year. David Morrissey showed some late season form as well as Jim Hilditch.
Not to mention the busting categories of the C class should fill a nice Killer B field this year. It is exciting to see 'cx get bigger.
This weekend I'll be hacking it out at the BTR and then over to Fort Custer on the 17th to race in my all-time favorite MTB TT. Kiss Cross came out with their schedule so it looks like my first 'cx race will be on the 14th at Highland Park in G.R.
Back on the bike...