PA State Champs – Pro Bikes Cyclo-cross Festival Day 2

8 Dec

Saturday morning Blake and myself started the day at 7am with a CX ride in belmont with the Major Taylor Neighborhood Bike Works ride afterwards where I got my first go at using the Indego bike share in philly. The ride itself with the kids was great, the weather borderline amazing and we even got to see a few of them win some awards.

Around 2pm or so that day Blake gave me, ‘Yah lets head to Pittsburgh to race tomorrow.’ I had told him and Stevie a month or so back that if they wanted to go and needed a co-pilot I was in. Alright game on. We rode back from west philly and I hurried to pack to hit the road before it was too too late. We had big plans that night to meet up with the Arrow Racing crew for Jack’s birthday in the ‘burgh!

Jack was also pretty siked on this local dive bar

We all pack into a hotel for the night and hang-and-bang into the night.

The next morning we all grab the continental b-fast and get ready to head west a little to the race venue/ Brendie and Keith had raced the day before and it sounded like the course was going to be 99% the same. It was cold out… the first real cold race of the season for sure. The course itself was pretty fun. Lots of flowy whoops, quick drop-offs, off-cambers, punchy climbs, and a pretty touch sand pit. The only downside was that the laps were quick, like reaaaly quick. The good news was youd at least learn the course during the race pretty well.

The start was asphalt into a short punchy grass/gravel climb. since I day-of’d I started last row (ie 3rd) but after the gun went off I was able to punch it off to the right and slot in around 7th or so. The san pit came pretty early in the lap but was wide enough if you took a non-line to not be a big issue. I crushed through the sand and made up a spot, hooked a 90deg left and slotted in line behind everyone else as in a hundred feet there was a tight 180deg turn that had a very narrow line at the top on the side of a very steep hill. Everyone was being pretty nice about it and waiting semi-patiently as falling down the hill would be brutal. Were all hugging the left course tape as the 180deg turn was tight and as im about to hit the apex I have some jabrone rip in on the inside and almost take me out down the hill. Oh yah, its just Arrow Racing’s Brendie… I yell at him for 6 seconds while were still on this off camber about being a jerk and jump on the road section and try to latch back to the group going up the big climb.

I make it back to the main front group and am sitting 8th or so when we come to a random left turn and Jack turn-bars somehow and eats it. Craig is right in front of me and crashes into him and I slow and barely make it around. This forces the gap to the front group and I charge to get back to them. It takes me a half lap or so but I make it up to Festa and the other 4 at the front and ride with them. At points I struggle to keep on their wheels but I eventually calm it down and stay focused. At one point Festa yelled for me to get back on after messing up in the sandpit and getting gapped a bit. Im able to hang with the group for 35-40min until the attacks start going off and I cant hang. By this point I can see Jack getting closer to me as I start to fade.

With 2 or so to go Jack comes around me FAST and almost crashes us both out. He bridges to another guy on ProMountain Outfitters who had fell off the lead group of 5 and they take off. I try to keep pushing with a goal to reel them both back in as theres no chance of catching back to the front. Jack drops the guy from ProMountain Outfitters and II eventually get past him half a lap later. I claw back up to Jack but then he attacks quickly after and I cant move with him. For the last lap hes got 10secs on me and I just cant dig deep enough to latch back on. I rolled through 6th and felt like I actually ‘raced’ for the first time in a while. I definitely miss that feeling of battling it out with people and being in the lead pack. Hopefully ill get my shit together for next season to make racing more enjoyable with off-season AND off bike training. Well see how that goes 

Mens B 3/4 podium

Mens A 1/2/3 podium

We then met up with my buddy for some late night east before making the 5.5hr haul back to philly. I forgot how good Spak Brothers was!!! Hotdamn!

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