Was definitely looking forward to a similar muddy track like we had last year at Spanish Lake and wasn't fully prepared for the modified course that was laid out or exactly how much power Devo could lay down in a gravel crit.
Like last year, I opted to go for my deeper wheels with tubes and tires, partly because I was expecting mud and partly because I didn't want to flat a tubie on the gravel. Should have considered the pressure a bit more as the back tire was super squirmy. 24/25 next time.
Nice to see a decent size group for the second week in a row! Devin took off sprinting at the gun and we had almost immediate separation on the rest of the field. Kukla was with us and I went around him to stay with Devin on the backside grinder but was already red-lined and on the nose trying to hang on and went into damage control mode. This was about 2 mins in I would guess. To be honest, I thought I was having a bad day and feeling like my legs were completely locked up/cold which were really just flooded with lactate.
I saw Devin on the big climb and through the start finish field on the first lap and that was the last time I saw him. For the next 2 laps I saw Anthony coming though the start / finish line when I was making the 180 out of it and then I didn't see him again.
Kukla and I were trading positions, him taking the lead once we hit the grass and up the climb and me catching him on the backside. It's a weird dynamic for me to not feel like we are really racing each other but I should change my mindset to make it more fun. He dropped me once we hit the grass on the last lap.
While I can't say I really enjoyed it, the takeaway is it was a break though workout and I set PR's for 20 min power as well as average and NP for a cross race.
Final thoughts leading into this weekend are that I feel like I've had nearly perfect preparation this year, have managed to stay healthy and maintain racing weight without getting too skinny and am feeling more excitement about this weekend than anxiety. Hoping I can race to the best of my ability.