October 20th, 2007: Yreka, CA
The series opener for the Southern Oregon Cyclocross Series was a little south of the boarder this year in Yreka, CA. The course was a pretty traditional cross course with a few short steep pitches, lots and lots of grass, and thanks to a week of rain before the race, lots and lots of mud!
I've been riding and racing cross for only a year and this was to be my fourth cross race and only my second race on my cross bike. I knew the course well though (I helped design it) and I knew that a good start was going to be especially critical on this course. The course started out with a long sprint down the lawn and went into a hard right had turn. Coming into the turn I was in about 6th place (out of 37), so I was happy with that.
We made it to the first barrier, and that is when things got interesting. The lead rider crashes making the right hand turn towards the barrier, which stops the first 4 or so riders. Me and another guy cut inside and clear the barrier smoothly, so now I'm in second place and very happy about it! At the next barrier the guy ahead of me messes up his remount (I'm starting to think that first place is cursed ), so I run by him and jump on and I'm now in first place (note: this is only the second time I've ever lead a race, and it has been 11 years since I last lead a race). Luckily the first place curse doesn't have time to catch me as I'm passed about half way through lap one by the guy that crashed on the first barrier.
I finish the next two laps with out incident in second place, but I'm starting to loose my hold on first places wheel and the others are catching me. In the end I finish 6th place overall and 2nd in my class. I did end up crashing once . Best part was the riders raffle at the end and the 6 pack of Pete's Wicked Ale that I won. I highly recommend that anyone in the area come out and race this series. The races are a blast and there are some great prizes in the rider's raffle.
Thanks for reading