|Photo: Russ Campbell @ Russcam.com|
This was my first Cat.3 since upgrading at the end of last season, and it was punishing. The course was well designed, making good use of the available terrain. It included several punchy climbs, some sketchy descents, and tight single track, as well as some open grassy sections, and a long straightaway on double track. I lined up at 43 out of 77, and that was exactly where I finished up as well (crossresults race predictor is scary). The pace was much higher than what I remember from the 4's, and I was constantly battling the guys around me. My top end isn't that great, so I would get passed on the long straightaway back stretch, and then regain position on the ride/run-up, only to be passed again on the grass after the barriers, and then regain it again on the hill. I had one minor crash in the sand pit, where PJ left me in the dust. I need to remember how to handle smoothly again, and not try to force it as much. Maybe I can get some handling pointers from the crew that went to Adam's clinic. I had great last lap, and picked up a few places, gunning for Brier, who John Plump yelled at me to catch. I caught on to his group right before the finishing hill, only to have the folks in front of me crash right as I was about to punch past. I narrowly avoided get caught up in it myself, but had to scrub speed to do it.
|Photo: Tom Gumbart|
-I need to work on my handling, and try to set up tubeless soon, as I can't afford to lose any time through loose sections.
-Looking at the data from both races, I averaged the same speed on my SS as I did on the geared bike.
-SS seems to play to my advantage, since you have to run a bit more. I was faster off the bike than most.
-Try to avoid getting such bad tunnel vision, that I don't acknowledge the folks cheering/heckling me on, with at least a smile.
-People would cheer for my mustache, even if I wasn't attached to it .