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God I love cross(8 posts)

God I love crossJimena
Oct 22, 2002 12:45 PM
God I love cross, I don't know why. It's painful. Saturday at Granogue, Delaware Carmen D'Alusio and Lyne Bessette rode away from us on the start, which had gone fairly well, with me catching a wheel and then trudging up the slippery run-up. Then you could really open it up on a short pavement climb and rail into another turn or two or three (four) and finally, my fave, the "technical" (I saw a root!) long-ish power climb on packed mud double-track, luckily sheltered by dense trees that kept it pretty dry and fast. Life is better when I can stand up and climb, and I really moved, past my quarry, last year's MAC series champ Josie Shew, moving me into 7th place and putting me in the hot seat, as we plunged down and around the super-steep honey-stinger hill. I loved the gentle rain falling on the leafy estate.

Cross is great. There are people yelling and bells ringing and you can do it in the rain, and you can do it in a two-wheel slide around an off-camber corner with a smile on your face – if you're Tim Johnson, that is. Dismount and re-mount, smoooooth like butter. See that? Just keep yelling my name please, it makes me go faster. Why was I looking back at Josie? To see her stutter-step the re-mount and hope that would bode well for me getting away from her? But the long flats are not my friends, and as the rain pissed down some more, the corners slickened, and I slid, screamed, overcorrected and barely made the save, allowing Josie to catch me and pass me on the damn slippery run-up. And there was another girl coming up—Jennifer Maxwell, strong North Carolinian, on a Lightspeed. We were three going up the hill, me chasing, barely hanging on, but I out-climbed them all! No one can touch me on the climb! The downhill is another story, so we were back together, over the barriers, and I was sitting uncomfortably on the back and got gapped, just a few times too many in the corners, and I finally had to back it off. Damn! Why now? Why, when I had been going so well? I'm just a wuss.

And so it was I got dropped, then Jen fell in the same corner where I had slid, and I thought I had her, but that run up—-ugh. I clawed my way up it, flagging. It was me dangling to finish just behind her, one spot out of the money, but still 9th in a star-studded UCI race of 24 women. I was pretty darn happy.

Sunday, what a day. The rain held off, which was good, since the cobbles would be slick as snot, and there were lots of them, straight up – what a great, classic climb. I watched some of the masters and juniors struggle with the "Monkey Hill," noting the momentum you need, and how smoothly you need to turn it over to fly up that hill. You need to look up toward the top and focus and commit to tearing your own legs off, if that's what it takes.

Jon raced the B's, then gave me tips on the course, which was softening up under the weight of 3 races before our 1pm elite women's race. Keep pedaling, don't ever let up. Stay in the grassy edges, don't get bogged down and sink, stay to the left in the mud by the fence on the back side. Ride the run up—you'll pass anyone who is walking. Rail out of the corner at the top of the hill, keep the gas on, even if you're tired, ‘cause you'll gap them while they are re-mounting.

So I snuck into the zoo for a quick pee and gathered myself before standing on the line next to Kristy. When the whistle blew, I flew hell-bent up the hill, and freaked myself out, being in the front group, (5th place! On Erin North's wheel!) realized I was going waaaay too hard, as my legs went lactic and I got powered past by 8 girls while I tried desperately to find my rhythm after launching myself in a turfward trip on the first set of barriers. I wanted to quit, bad. Meanwhile Jon's insistent cheering (Don't look back! Keep going! Don't sit up!) focused me, and I started to crawl back up into the pack. Yuk. I felt a little deflated, crappy, slow. I just di
Message truncated?Jimena
Oct 22, 2002 12:49 PM
My, I do go on. Here's the rest, in case you're still awake:

Yuk. I felt a little deflated, crappy, slow. I just did not want to get lapped.

Finally, I started to get it back together and really warm up. I had Josie's wheel for almost a whole lap, we worked together and caught Courtney. The announcer had been describing this battle royal between Josie and Courtney, and he kept taking about them over the loudspeaker, but he did not say a word about me—I guess I'm stealth. I was listening to him, and it was sounding like both women had expended a lot of energy trying to gain advantage over each other in the corners, while I crept up from behind, smoothly alone, taking my own lines. When we caught Courtney, I attacked both of them in the feed zone. After climbing the run-up (she ran it) I now had, for the first time ever, a real gap on Josie, and Jon fed me quickly and urged me not to let up. Then on the last section of the last lap, a guy jumped in front of me on the course, smacked into me and gave me such a yetz! Right in the nose! I paused to curse him with all my might, then re-mounted, losing any momentum I might have generated to catch the 10th placed woman, a really cool pro mountain biker from Michigan named Jody. Then coming off the raging road downhill into the last time up the Monkey, some Elite man taking a pre-lap nearly veered into me, I let out a primal scream, all the hairs stood up on the backs of all the animals in the zoo, and I angrily hauled ass up the cobbles, came into the finish line half dead, and promptly had an asthma attack, whereupon I turned blue and collapsed in a tearful heap by my boyfriend's car. Ah well, that's the game of ‘cross, triumph and tragedy, and nothing a Brooklyn Lager and some asprin from Thais's mom wont cure. Thanks for reading about me on my heavy Surly running around in the middle of the pack. Just wait until I get that Gunnar! It's supposed to ship today.
Good job!www-mtnpedaler-com
Oct 22, 2002 3:10 PM
I wish I could have seen it. Paul
Is this?Steve_O
Oct 23, 2002 5:32 AM
Good read! My male intuition tells me this is cleatgrrl? (Or maybe its the mention of the boyfriends name?)
Great write-uppauly
Oct 23, 2002 6:45 AM
Will you be at Lake Fairfax on Sunday?
re: God I love crossmorati
Oct 22, 2002 2:55 PM
You're in there with some fast company Jimena. Good going. I think there are some pics of you on cyclepics.com. Is that you with the green Surly with the white fork?
Morati
it is... aka/cleatgrrlmarkNc
Oct 23, 2002 6:01 AM
good mtn biker too i hear, but sammy takes a beating on the mtbr passion board for some reason. passion board(not a very tolerant place)luvs to beat up on certain posters.

mark aka/mtnrogue
Nice!markNc
Oct 23, 2002 5:39 AM
yep, Jen's passed, lapped my slow a$$ a few times. they always start the A women & masters together here in nc.
what was really weird though is my son in the juniors race yelling at me to get out of the way! hope i am not as slow this year.
mark