Sunday, September 12, 2010
Kiss Cross #1 - Plaster Creek Park
So much for the weather - from what I had heard the rain was supposed to stop around 4 in G.R. We arrived around 7:00 and it was still misting. Great for 'cross racing but not the greatest for 'cross spectating.
The course at Plaster Creek Park was short with a long-ish paved oval track about half-way through the lap. Rick used a start loop running into the triple stack of barriers right off the bat. From there it wound into a dirt/sand infield before hitching up and down the ridge that separated the lower park from the upper park. 100 meters later was a single plank up the same hill, forcing a short run-up to the oval track. The course wound back down the ridge into the lower park, followed by a loopy section through the trees before looping back into the triple stack of barriers.
From the gun I took the hole shot, figuring the triple barriers 200 m from the start would be a bit sketchy with a pack of sprinting riders in the first 'cross race of the year. About half a lap later Tom Burke, a guy from Indiana came roaring around me. I maintained contact for a short while when Ben Whitehead jumped as well. About 4 laps into the race I caught Ben but was unable to shake him - every time we hit the pavement he would take some time, but then I'd gain it back over the barriers or through the trees. We juggled 40-50 m between us for the remaining laps but in the end I was unable to close. Pressure from behind from Ron Stack and Patrick Russell helped keep me motivated as well, since both of them were within 10-15 seconds for the entire race. After 12 laps I ended up 4th, which I was very happy with.
Big props to Kristie who braved the rain and mist to watch a bunch of guys ride road bikes around a park!