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Panorama (Va.) Cross Race Report (chime in at any time)(5 posts)

Panorama (Va.) Cross Race Report (chime in at any time)Coolhand
Oct 13, 2003 6:56 AM
First race of the Virginia State Series:

Captain Newbie crosser gets conned into riding 2 races, the C race (30 minutes) and the B race (45 minutes).

The course was in great shape and really well marked. A bit dusty in a few spots, and loose in a few others. The course demanded attention on the downhills or it would bite you in the behind. Two sets of barriers, a quite high set of doubles and a shorter set of triples. One long painful climb mixed with 2 shorter climbs (one went through a short section of single track- yeah baby!). The run up was up a short, very step bank. It was loose dirt, but traction was actually pretty decent.

The UCI people were pretty good, and the registration table and parking were pretty smooth. Also, cross seems to attract a more laid back crowd. More families in attendance then I expected. It was nice.

The C-race lined up first at 10:00AM. The weather was cool and sunny, around 65 degrees. The course was in mint condition, plenty of grip. I have a decent spot out front. The UCI judge goes through the rules, quickly and clearly. Its clear she's in charge and has a plan. Nice. And we're off. A mass sprint to the first set of barriers. I find out that I am not fast through them as others, probably due to it being my first race and first year crossing. I make it up on the climbs and downhills though. The downhills are fast and a bit loose. I try to avoid being too close to others in case they stack. Kaaboom! An explosive pinchflat in the singe track section. Running low tire pressures were not a good idea.

The race settles down. I am running 7-9th pretty steadily, passing some on the climbs and flats , but loosing places on the barriers- I am still cautious on them. In the last laps I have a very, very tough time with the barriers and remounts- my left cleat and loosened and rotated 15 degress to the left, and is close to coming out althougher. Swell. "One lap to go!!" Oh crap, no time to worry about that cleat. I am in a group of 4 riders, I am at the back of them after the first barrier, but pass one on the flats, pass another on the small hill climb, and passed the third by the woods. I hope they are not sitting on my wheel waiting for my painfully slow barrier remounts to pass me again-- safer not to look back. I get to the barrier and wrench my leg out hard. One, two, three and back on the bike- come on, clip in you stupid pedal. I am finally in and hit the fast downhill with the fast sweeping corners. Nobody was too close at the barriers thankfuly, after the fast downhiller sweepers I hit the final climb with a solid tempo, target and pass a slow rider suffering on the climb, and then look over my shoulder to see where the "gang of four" is. About 15-20 seconds back. I dump the rest of my energy into flat loose run to the line- 6th! Woo hoo. I roll through, and track stand at the end trying to get out of the pedal-- oops the cleat is moved too far and won't release no matter how hard to rotate. Crash. Much amusement for the spectators. I am spent and enjoy the ground.

B race. 11:45AM start after 2 classes of juniors and masters have beaten up the course. I really don't want to do this one. Only because I said I would do so do I line up. Legs are shot, and energy is coming from the 3 Gu packs I sucked down. I line up at the back as I don't want to jackrabbit start this one. About 25 riders. And we are off. I suffer. Alot. The temp has jumped into the low 80's at least, and the sun is burning down. Swell. Still I hold my own, not getting passed too much and passing a few riders myself. I get great practice at technical cross riding as the course is more dangerous now. With the hot sun out, water is an issue- glad I have the bottle on the bike. More wrecks, flats, and riders simply quitting due to the heat and pace. I get lapped on the last climb (grr!) and finish 16th. At this point I am
Link to the series and more cross photosCoolhand
Oct 13, 2003 8:53 AM is the series. hosts a ton of good cross race photo's.

Photographic Prooftriangleforge
Oct 14, 2003 2:15 PM
Conclusive proof that the barriers at Panorama were stronger than my face:

First barrier of the first race of the season, and my for-three-years-until-now-smooth-as-butter ATAC decides not to let go of my left foot. We're still in a dense bunch that close to the start and I'm fighting with the pedal and getting pinballed around a bit. Despite emerging from the first barriers dusty, bloody & DFL, I managed to pick my way back up through the field little and have a decent race. Coming through the start/finish, I tried to tell the announcer that Pedro Martinez had gotten me, but he didn't seem to get the joke...

Other photos at
hopefully demonstrate that I didn't faceplant every single barrier; I'm the one in the light blue Squadra Coppi/Java Shack skinsuit with the orange VooDoo Wazoo.

That was you?Coolhand
Oct 16, 2003 6:54 AM
Ouch, I heard that one. I was recovering from the C race at the time.

I found out the hard way that 2 races was one too many. I will probably just do the B race at Reston. Will you be there?

Here is me jumping those damn triple barriers
That was metriangleforge
Oct 16, 2003 10:57 AM
I'll be at Reston, doing the Masters 35+ and maybe the Bs (I was signed up for both at C-ville, but opted out of the second to go clean myself up a bit & feed some of my teammates).

Looks like I'll mainly be focusing on the VACX series this year, and on the races my team is putting on November 23 -- at a VERY cool private farm near the lower Potomac River -- and on December 6 -- the MABRA district champeenship race and a super cyclocross double-header weekend at Lake Fairfax. The 12/6 race will be the same venue, but a different course, as the Potomac Velo race the following day. Should be right fine!