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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Riding my NEW BIKE at Capital City Cross

New bikes make me feel like a kid on Christmas morning! I've been lusting after a carbon Crux for a while now and couldn't be more excited to finally have one! It got here just in time for Aaron to build it up and have it ready to go before my second cross race of the season. I did a couple hot laps around the neighborhood in the dark that night, which was the night before race day and that was it!

Britt and I headed to Des Moines the early the next afternoon for Capital City Cross, leaving both our boys back home. We both felt bad they had to work, but I did enjoy the girl time :) While getting our bikes ready, we noticed some really muddy bikes. Apparently there is a natural spring under the hill at the park. That would explain it!

We were going to pre-ride the non-muddy parts of the course, but the race that was right before the Women's Open didn't finish until 5 minutes before our start. I guess we would go into it blind! The officials lined us up according to USAC rankings, but since I didn't preregister they were going to stick me in the back row. Another women pointed out to the official that it would put me behind women who weren't racing the Open, but were racing one of the Masters categories instead. The official said that starting positioned "didn't really matter." What?! Thankfully Tara asked me if I wanted to squeeze in next to her on the 2nd row and actually just let me take her place (she was racing masters). That was so, so incredibly nice - thank you Tara!

The whistle blew and we were off, I had a fast start and managed to get ahead of several people and rounded the first corned in 3rd, with Brittany and Linda ahead. At the first opportunity I gunned it around Linda and was able to get away. Britt had opened up a gap on me, and I on Linda, Sara, and Lisa who were chasing behind.

Photo Credit: Jeff Corcoran. Click here for full gallery.

I made it over all four(!) barriers and had a good remount. Once I got to the short uphill with two 2x4's I dismounted again and ran the the climb to the first muddy section. I'm not so sure about uphill remounts so I climbed back on my bike pretty much at a standstill (lame, I know). I wanted to make sure I was solidly clipped back in, because I only had about 2-3 feet before a very long section of ankle deep mud. I took the high line, next to the course tape and didn't make it far before putting a foot down and trying (thankfully successfully) to get started again. The girls had all but caught back up to me, but I was able to ride the rest of the mud, including the uphill 180 turn without problem and regained the gap.

Photo Credit: Jeff Corcoran. Click here for full gallery.
Next up was a bombing fast downhill section which was awesome, followed by a very long spiral. I actually got a little dizzy from going around in circles so much! I finished up the lap and tried to keep Britt in sight ahead. I knew I wouldn't catch her, but it's always easier to have some ahead to try and keep pace with. I also wanted to keep up my pace so I wouldn't get caught.

Photo Credit: Tara Coady (although I'm sure John took the pics since she was racing!)
Not much changed at the front during the next four laps, but Britt did get a little farther ahead and Lisa got ahead of Linda and took over 3rd place. I was happy (as always) to see the one lap to go card and kept pushing hard in all the open sections, and thankfully had enough energy to not get caught and to finish second. I great race I would say! I absolutely LOVED my new bike and how it handled the tough course. The course was also super fun, with lots of different features to keep things interested. I really enjoy coming to this race every year!

Photo Credit: Tara Coady
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