We went up Sunday morning for day #2 of Kutztown Cross and its first go at being in the MAC series.
Mens C 4/5 Race photos:
Only place I’ve ever seen fiberglass (non-plastic) porta-potties.
Womens 3/4 race
Mens 2/3/4 B Race
I was fortunate enough to get a front row call up and knew it would be very beneficial on a narrow course like this. There weren’t many long straights to pass on the course with most of them being very bumpy off the race-line with a non-passable chicanes somewhere mixed in. I jumped hard at the start and took to the front of the race. I knew the first turn could be a bottleneck and I took it semi-cautiously as no one could really come around me at that point. Game plan was to put some work in on the first lap and form gaps as there were some really strong riders/rivals in the mix.
Coming through the finish line onto our second lap I was still on the front of a small group with Nick from Colavita and Bernie leading MAC series with a growing gap on the rest of the field. I almost ate it hard on the 2nd corner after the finish as I hadn’t taken it at speed yet but was able to get a foot down and save it without crashing us all out. A few of the turns were really tricky with some being tacky and fast, others being just wet enough to make your front wheel almost come loose, and others with so much crewed up grass from running it the opposite direction the day before if you got out of the line going fast enough youd go down. The three of us kept gaining ground with myself on the front going past the finish for the 2nd time when we saw 4 to go.
About ¼ into the 2nd lap Nick made a quick pass by me and I tried to sit in for a bit but couldnt hang. Bernie knew that and scooted around to get back to his wheel. I was able to keep the gap small for the next lap but with 3 or so to go I knew unless one of those two made a big mistake I couldn’t hang. I had a big gap behind and was in no man’s land. I did my thing for the next lap or so and saw 2 to go. I looked back to see Sean and Willis and Keith gaining a bit but didn’t decided to keep it cool and go hard on the straights but slow it up in some of the turns where things could go south.
With 1 to go Sean had gapped Willis and was close… really close. The way too close for comfort that made me have to put lots of work in on the last lap… He must have brought back 20seconds or so on me and now was about 10 seconds back. They legs still felt great so I proceeded to still take a few of the corners gingerly with the caveat being to stand up and sprint HARD out of every single turn. Coming out of the 2x natural barrier, I knew I had the gap I needed, kept it upright through the gravel and threw a quick sprint down the final straight-away to finish 3rd with Sean 8 seconds or so back… oooohie! Felt good to be on the podium for a 2nd week in a row with Bernie taking the win more than a minute in front of me.
Mens B Race podium.
Mens Elite A Race
I decided to double up and try my first elite MAC race. After the podium I sat on the trainer and tried to keep the legs warm as there was 1 race between the B and A race. I felt good and there were only 14 people signed up, and the pay went 15 deep. Sweet! I lined up 2nd row better know as the back and got sa good start. I was sitting mid pack and didn’t want to go too hard as the legs had already put some work in. I was sitting around some familiar faces like Hal and knew the course pretty well at this point. Somewhere around the wood section on the first lap I heard a ‘pshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh’ and had got a flat. I rode it to the pit and swapped to the pit bike, jumped on frantically and like that I was out of the race. I tried to chase on to the back of the main group with no avail. Unfortunately for me my pit bike was ghost shifting, my legs were cooked, and my back hated me about 3 laps in. All I was thinking was, ‘A double up, seriously??!’ After I got over myself I decided to work on my cornering and to try out my new tubeless setup that was on the pit bike. Not much to report honestly. It was my first time doing a lot of things during the race 1st elite Mac race, 1st time getting lapped by the top 3, 1st time finishing a lap down, 1st time being DFL!!!!, and 1st time getting paid in the elite race :D It was very humbling racing against legit pros who on top of being amazing racers were super nice guys as I stopped on the side to let them pass with words of encouragement. I also really wanted to watch some of their lines but couldn’t hand for more than a corner or two. Oh well. I finished the race with a grin on my face and a growl in my stomach. It was another solid day of racing. I have 1 more B race to do in my career and then its all-in on the elite race. There is lots and lots of work to get done before next season.
1st elite paycheck… sure everyone got paid but still :)
When up north you have to pick up some desserts as well.
Then a quick stop at On the Border?! for dinner.