Raced in the C class for my first cross race ever. Was a bit nervous, but was settled down after a talk with some experienced teammates and some pointers from coach John Verheul. The race was fairly short, only 30 minutes, but it was one of the tougher things I have done in a LONG time. I had only been out on my bike for 30 or so minutes prior to today, giving it the shake down and trying out some new cleats, so confidence was low.
Our race had 20 or so guys in it. The course was pretty long, but dry and fairly fast from what it seemed. I spent the first little bit just settling in and passing a few stragglers. I got my rythm and went off the front of our group. My brother gave me a time of about 15 second lead with 1 to go. I told myself just to settle in and ride fast, but controlled. By this time in the race, I was feeling pretty good. I came up on a dropped rider, and voiced on his left. We hit a turn and he went into me, causing me to hit a rut hard and go down. I got back up quickly, but realized my damn tire had rolled off the rim(tubulars). I had to let almost all the air out to pull it back on. Of course the pack of 4 caught me and went past. I was feeling rushed and could see 4th place just ahead of me. I quit thinking for a second and hit it coming up an off camber hill. The lack of glue, plus the low pressure caused the tire to roll again, taking me down.........again. I hopped up and trotted across the finish line, bike on the shoulder. Ended up 5th.
The race was well organized, and I can't wait until Oct. 7th for my next one.
-Watch out for downed/lapped riders, you never know what they'll do.
-Gluing a cross tubular is NOT like gluing a triathlon tubular. You don't want them to come off for quick tire changes.
-Cross is freaking INTENSE.
-I'm already hooked.
A pic of the action for kicks.