The Virginia Beach Wheelmen had the most racers at a CX race for Bryan Park then we have had for any other CX race. Five of us left Hampton Roads for Richmond. It was John Gray, Jon Nisbet, Tim Shockley, Mike Tamayo and myself. The Highlander was packed with most of the bikes and gear and then John another vehicle. Hindsight we could have fit 5 in the Highlander but I didn't know Mike had a hitch carrier we could have used. Next time.
When we got to Richmond we knew about the deal with the categories. John Gray, although a 3 on the road was a 4 for cyclocross. So he had to get ready quickly and line up. It was alright. It was his first CX race and now he had teammates to feed him and cheer him on. He did good for his first race. Would have been in the top 20 if it were not for a spill on the final lap. But he looked good and comfortable out there. Awesome job.
Then, even though a 2 on the road, Jon Nisbet was a 3 for cyclocross, so the rest of us got to race together. My personal strategy was just to have fun. Over the last few weeks I have gone through my deconditioning from the road season in order to build back up. So although I have been training, it has been pretty low intensity training. Regardless, I just didn't want to be last. We started off and Mike took off and led the pack for a while. Jon Nisbet was on Tim's wheel and I was on Jon's. I was feeling pretty comfortable. The second set of barriers on the first lap is where I started to have problems. The pace wasn't to high for me and the skill of dismounting and remounted was bad, but the acceleration after remounting is what was getting me. Unlike road with a fluid consistent pedal motion, the CX style was killing my legs. But I haven't worked on that at all this year.
So as the race progressed I saw the pack get further and further until I couldn't see them any more. Then I saw Mike in the distance. I tried to catch up to him but he found his second effort when a group of 4 met up with him. He ended up leaving most of them. So Jon finished strong in the second group and Tim just slightly behind him. Mike held strong as to not being lapped by leaders and I finished it out for the team getting lapped near the end of the last lap.
None of us stuck around for the results, but all of us considered the day a success. Mostly because of a great course, great teammates, a nice drive and it is always fun to race your bike...even if you don't post great results.
Watch for us next week at Lonestar. Exciting times.