It was looking a bit like the Oklahoma Panhandle back in the 30's for a bit on Sunday, but oh, wait, it was just Xilinx on a hot dry day. The Boulder Cyclocross Series Kicked off in grand, if not hot, dry and dusty style on Saturday. With 447 Total starters, the "Bubble Effect" was in full swing.
The High Peaks guys were on the hook for race promotion/setup/teardown duty for this day (and the evening before...). Almost 3 hours of weed-whacking on Friday night opened up some new lines in the lower field, and along with the "normal" kind of route thru the woods yielded what looked to be a long and tough loop for the festivities on Saturday. Paved start, a twisty "woods" section with a log and double-barrier run up, followed by the rough track over to a descent started the thing off. A twisty section of field grass, and a couple of DEEP ditch dismounts led into the dust-bowl out in the lower field. Some Sand, and plenty of dusty, loose and off-camber twists would finish off the lap. A 6:30 AM arrival for the rest of setup insured a good "warmup" for racing. With a hot & dry day on tap, but thankfully not quite as hot as the weekend before, it looked to be a great day for some cross suffering.
I had planned on a return to the Beer-Drinking-Dad's League after starting the season off in the 45+ open last week. Also, as working the race gave us the freebie entry, I decided to make it an ugly "fitness" day, and race the 45+ race back to back. Figured that between my higher levels of endurance training, and a few "double" race days, I could cure my late race fade problems from last year.
The Beer-Drinking Dads line up for battle
Call-ups were based on last year's Boulder series results, and along with the normal attrition from upgrades, I managed the last spot for a 1st row lineup. The rest of the team got a call up, based on the teams working the race, a nice feature I hope becomes a standard practice. Tweet, and we're off. I quickly manage to loose a bit of that first row advantage, just by not having the horsepower to stay right on the front in the drag race up the hill. Still manage to keep pretty near the front into the woods. Of course, chaos ensues at the first obstacle. The front 5-8 guy disappear as we muddle thru the first log. Interestingly, I hear a dull, hollow thud on the footbridge a rider or 2 behind me. Whoever hit the bridge deck could only clog up the works behind us more. End up going into the lower field in 13th, but rapidly loosing contact with the front group. Oh well. (looking at the video, seems to have been another crash there, too...)
Boulder CX Series #1 - SM35+ Cat 4 Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Bouder CX series # 1 - SM35+ cat 4 Lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Boulder CX series # 1 - SM35+ cat 4 - Lap 3 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
Ends up being a hard but fun course. Never could get up the pavement climb with any power, and kept getting passed, but managed to get most of those passes back in the twisty bits or the sand. Stayed in a loose, small group, going back & forth the rest of the race, and we seemed to pull away from anything coming up, but never saw the front again. Like I had done at Golden the week before, I tried to be patient, and only pass, or push it where I seemed to be at an advantage, rather than just going flat out the whole race. Really helps out, especially in the end, as again I had no real fade, and held off a couple of guys behind me for 14th place. By far my best finish in a "big" race with a large field. Feels pretty good to get into the top 15, and justifies my "training" plan and work going into the year. Hope now to race this fitness into a bit higher plane.
The true local debut for the new team went well too, Placed riders in 14th, 21st, 53rd and 56th in the 87 rider 35+ 4s, 3rd and 44th in the 45+, 3rd in the 55+, 13th in the SW4, and a 19th in SM3. Not a bad set of results for a bunch of misfits.
Now, we won't talk much about that 2nd race back to back. Ugly, but was I managed to be actually RACING (not surviving...) for 2 laps and was doing OK given the 2nd start with no real break. The last 3 or so laps went downhill, as I started to cramp up. Ended up seeing a lot of the Open women go by as I got out of the way this time. Still managed to get 44th of the 53 finishers in the 45+. Better than the 2nd to DFL last time I tried the back to back race thing.
Boulder CX series # 1 - SM45+ Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
I'll be skipping Frisco coming up the following weekend. No fond memories of that course, and going to ration my travel races this year, to lessen the burden on my long suffering and very patient wife. Lots of races to pick from this year. Have a delemma for the weekend after, as Interlocken is by far one of
my favorites, but the points picking at Buena Vista is calling me pretty loud. What to do, What to do??
Thanks goes to Brian of Boulder Racing for both putting on another good race, and allowing us to help him out again this year
Photos & Video by Callie Riley & Lisa Robinson
Some more video from a few races...
SM3 Lap 1:
Boulder CX Series #1 - SM3 Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
SW 4 - Lap 1
Boulder CX Series # 1 - SW4 Lap 1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.