I opted for the SS race because it sounded like fun and I thought I would still be home for my usually 9:30 bedtime. I figured that racing with my teammates would be fun and the SS race would be a slightly lower impact setting for my first go through the barriers of the season. Matt, Christopher and I talked about team tactics which basically involved getting off the front and working together, unfortunately, we didn't discuss what we would need to do if we had to work someone over.
The race started well and Christopher, Matt, Laberta, Dust and I got away. My first trip through the barriers I must have dismounted twenty feet before them and stutter stepped over both of them... time to do some skills practice. Things started happening fast and Dust crashed and Laberta had a mishap and fell off the pace. Matt and I were isolated for a short period of time but Dust showed he had some good legs and caught back up to us. Both Matt and I would put in some digs where we could, but couldn't really shake Dust much.
About halfway through the race I went to the front and told Matt to sit on Dusts wheel as I tried to ride Dust off my wheel where I could and hoped to wear him out a little. I knew that towing Dust to the line was an automatic loss but couldn't seem to figure out a way to let MJ know my intentions. With about 1.5 laps to go Matt rolled his tire and I was left on the front with Dust chilling on my wheel... not as planned. I decided to keep the pace high and attack through the twisty back section as I thought I might be able to gap him enough to make him work for it.
Flying into the home straight we started to hit lapped traffic and things got dicey. I was drilling it down the lat bumpy section of grass before the pavement and didn't think Dust was as close as he was. We hit the pavement, started to kick and ran into a rider crossing the line in the middle lane as we approached in full sprint. I came across the line, bars hooked with Dust, left pedal unclipped and front tire off the ground for the win.
I woke up hungover from watching Shottlers domination of the A race (Martin- I told you so)and enjoying a few to many delicious PBRizzles and Case asked me if I was going to race again. Oddly, I hadn't even thought about it but after we did some work around the house I figured I might as well.
I arrived to find that the track had changed dramatically and there was now a steep as climb... ouch. Warming up I was pretty much convinced I was going to vomit, but luckily didn't.
The race started and after Laberta made a wrong turn, Dust and I quickly found ourselves isolated off the front. It was hot, the hill was hard and I started to question how long I was going to last. I tried playing it smart and riding Dusts wheel, but somehow found myself with a decent gap about 2 laps in. I decided to lay it on the line and make him work for it until I came though the barriers, remounted and had dropped my chain. My twenty second lead turned into a 10 second chase and I tried to remain calm. I caught him pretty fast but it was a good effort and he responded by riding me off his wheel going into the steep hill, crushing the climb and opening up a healthy lead on me.
For the next lap or so I chased and tried to remain smooth which paid off when I caught him and put in a little extra effort on the hill, opening up a slight lead. From there it was a long 4 laps but I was in cruise control and committed to the move. I watched my lead grow considerably and rode a flawless race for SS win # 4 in a row.
I woke up yesterday morning and put gears back on my CX bike and am ready to start training for the 2010 CX season... Once again, my timing is a little off, but it should be fun.