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Bad to Worse -- Race Report(6 posts)

Bad to Worse -- Race ReportGripped
Oct 6, 2003 10:52 AM
Sunday was the first day of the Portland, OR Cross Crusde series. Racing was at Alpenrose dairy on a course that had very uneven grass sections, three sets of barriers, one true run-up, one practical run-up, some pavement, and some velodrome (cool to see cross bikes way up the banks). Alpenrose brought out 575 racers in all categories. There were almost 50 SS racers -- plus 2 who raced in Speedos (Single Speedos) for double points. My category, Men's B, had 66 entrants.

I got to Alpenrose later than I wanted and I felt a bit out of sorts while warming up. I attributed that to nerves since I was nervous about the level of competition. I took a casual lap of the course right before the race. The extra couple of minutes it too for me to drop my arm and knee warmers off with my wife cause me to stage late. I squeezed in the far right side of the B field just in front of the single speeders.

On the start, I was agressive and sprinted hard. The field started to string out fast and I felt pretty good at my position in the front half. Two guys in front of me came together and then swerved off in opposite directions. Unfortunately, one of them careened into me. I was determined to stay upright but when he hit me the second time, I went down (neither of the other two did). I didn't see any major problems with my bike in the one second once over and I was about to remount when spectaters shouted that I had dropped my chain. I flipped the chain back on and remounted to the sight of the field dissappearing around the first turn.

I charged hard and it wasn't too long before I caught up to the end of the B's. I kept charging and aggressively picked off riders. Pretty soon, fast riders were coming around me and I was confused as to how the riders I had passed were suddenly able to put on the afterburners. Then I realized that the front of the SS pack, which had started 30 seconds after the B's, were coming through.

Near the end of the first lap, I was in the groove and feeling pretty good. I was dissapointed that my good start was ruined by the crash but I figured I would see how many riders I could pick off and feel pretty good about whatever I placed. Then my rear end went squirrley and I looked down and saw the rear tire go flat. I was out. DNF. That really put me in a foul mood. I hate not finishing.

The postmortem showed the classic snake bite of a pinch flat. I must have gotten it remounting after a set of barriers. Since the ground was so bumpy, I wanted to run a tire pressure as low as I could go. I guess I went too low. I might order some Tufo's today.
re: Bad to Worse -- Race Reportseamus
Oct 6, 2003 1:23 PM
Hard luck, man. I did my second race of the season at the SF Bay Area SuperPrestige race, and on a hard course, a lot of riders had experiences similar to yours. Sometimes, that's just how it goes .
re: Bad to Worse -- Race Reportdlbcx
Oct 7, 2003 9:20 AM
Did the same Pilarcitos race. Did the warmup lap then came around and found that everybody had already staged so I got stuck way in the back. Then, midway though, the bars came loose so I had to pull off and tighten them. The first time I ever carried tools in a cross race so it was good that it allowed me to finish. But, bad since I was going to check the bars before staging.
For the next Pilarcitos race, I'm getting there early and ride the course before the first race then stage early.
Hmmm... seems like the pinch flats were in seasonKonaMan
Oct 6, 2003 7:47 PM
I managed to do the same thing in the CAT C race. That was a tough course, lots of fun though. I HATED that hill right after you exited the velo... HATED it. Somewhere in the last lap (I think) I got a flat, but was totally oblivious to it. I finished, 65 out of 81.

I raced, I finished, and if I'm right, I should be seeing a 6 pack of Mac's for the finish.
Hmmm... seems like the pinch flats were in seasonGripped
Oct 7, 2003 12:11 PM
How did the Wyzata work out? How did you set it up? The course at Jackson Middle school is pretty cool. It is a UCI race so expect two dismounts per lap -- one set of barriers and one run-up. I spectated at that one last year. I don't know if they are going to change the course much but the run up turned out to be a ride-up for all the A's. Most of the course is grass. The school playing fields are terraced and the course traverses the terraces many times so there is a lot of steep up and down. In at least several places, you go down a terrace and then right back up. The terraces are generally taller than the little berm at the south side of the Alpenrose velodrome.

One of the best aspects of the Jackson Middle School course is that you can see the whole thing from just about anywhere inside the loop. Great for spectators. Easy to preview even if you don't pre-ride. Last year this race (held in November) attracted Gullickson and Wells. Expect to see them back this year as well as Belgium nat. champ Erwin Vervecken come to kick some a$$.

FYI, the run-up after the velodrome (I assume that is the one you hated) was a pretty tame one. There were actually divot steps which help enormously. I didn't much care for the several gravel transitions although it was hard to sort out likes and dislikes in two laps.
needs more work...KonaMan
Oct 7, 2003 1:28 PM
not sure if I'm in town yet this weekend or not. that burm was not fun towards the end. that first transition after the hard left (where you go right then left through the deep gravel) was the worst, it was too loose to hit it with any speed. I lost ground fast in that spot...

I want my beer though...