Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rise of the 'Mericans?

The CX Worlds went down again this weekend. . Poor KFC missed the big prize again. Again. Are there curses in cycling? After seeing KFC absolutely DOMINATE all season (Again..) and not be able to pull together the ONE day she wants, you have to start thinking........

The American men are really starting to show promise in the "big leagues", with all the finishers staying on the lead lap, and in the top 1/2 of the field. Page and J Pow in the top 20. Staying on the lead lap may not sound that great, but after my personal experience in the 35+ and 45+ open races around here, and seeing the last place rider at worlds being listed a ** 7 ** laps down, it really is a great result.

The women are showing more depth, again all finishing on the lead lap, and in an AMAZING U-23 race,

all the up & coming USA guys stayed on that lead lap, and Danny Summerhill got into 13th. The U23 race was not the usual Euro cross race, all spread out. 10 guys in a tight bunch into the "Laatste Ronde". More fun to watch than the usual spread out laps of a euro race, good, tight racing. All in all a better showing for US cross than in many past years. Good on all the big boys & girls for their efforts. Cracking the euro-Belgium stranglehold is going to be a LONG and painful task.

Back in the local cross scene, we actually had a bike race in January. Kinda hard to tell, as more pople clicked into 303 Cycling's "should we have races in January" poll, than managed to make it to a race in the heart of the Boulder Beast. With "issues" getting up to ski that day, I went ahead with an experiment. How does a Cross race feel after 6 weeks of not really riding? With maybe 3 rides since States, I knew it would be "different" to go flog myself with NO riding.
The result of that experiment? well, it all hurts about the same, you just have one speed. a rather slow speed, and no real ability to actually "race" people. With a fun and reasonably technical course, I was able to get a good start, and hang in OK in the really small field. Based on the bike handling, or more like lack of bike handling, most of the other folks had not been riding either. Made for a fun slalom thru the falling, fallen, or generally frazzled middle of the field. Lots of frozen sand and a few bits of snow & ice to spice up the eastern half of the course made for probably the best course I've been on at Boulder Rez. With NO aspirations or notions of "racing" turned out to be a LOT of fun. One of those things about cross, the ability to be in the back & have a great time.

On a less fun & more personal note, after surviving a full season of Cross with no real injury, I managed to tear up some strange muscle in my hip, in my kitchen, 2 hours after that last "experimental" race. Keeping me off the skis, off the weight training, on the PT, and pretty much insane. Oh boy, below Zero temperatures, snow & a broken body. I guess winter is in full force. Why do the real injuries never have a good story to go with them? Always something stupid.

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