Swope Cross race today. Mens open race started at 1:15, Melissa and I ducked out of birth class at 12:15, booked it over to swope, and got there just in time to inflate my tires and put the new kit on. Couldn't find my contacts and my back hurt like hell, but I didn't need any excuses, it was the first cross race and I wasn't going to miss it!
The course was very fun. It was not a cross course that you would normally see. It seemed to either be flat straight pavement, or single track. Very little grass on this baby.
Race started on a hill, I didn't know anything about the course so I didn't try to get good position since I had no idea where to go. I was about 7 riders back into the wholeshot and the 5th rider back seemed to let a 2nd or two go after each corner. By the time we got out of the first section there was a good 8 seconds gap. I pedaled hard to get around the two and get back up but it was not to be. Eventually Brian Jensen (who took the wrong turn at the wholeshot) caught up to me with Andrew on his wheel, they were booking it and in my head I said, that is Brian Jensen, no way can I keep up, there is still a long way to go and I let them have it. There ended up being 3 of us fighting for 6th place, with 2 to go 1 of them was in front of me going into a corner and road through some tape, he kept going and eventually the tape snapped, shooting a piece of wood at me(I tried to avoid the wood but ended up smashing my knee on my handlebar). I kept riding and then I couldn't pedal, turned out the tape wrapped itself around my cassette a few times and I had to remove my wheel to get it out. I kept at it, my head no longer in it, but then I started hoping that maybe they might have a mechanical, or fall, or run into some tape again, so I started pedaling hard. This time I had more of a smile on my face and I started enjoying the course.
I ended up with 7th place. Shadd from 360 got first. The dude has been getting podium spots in Cat 1 Mtn. bike races in colorado so I am not surprised.
Eric Stull got 3rd in his first cross race, seemed like the supernova suited him well. Jane got 5th for the women's, it was her first race as well.
The event looked to be a huge success, 360 did a great job putting on the event, everything was on time and fun.
I love cross, the community is excellent. I really enjoyed hearing people cheer for each other, even if they are on different teams. There are a lot more smiles at cross races than any road race I have ever been too.