Monday, October 10, 2011

Cat and Mouse Cross

Double header cross races at the Edmonton Velodrome area which was mainly flat grass with a grassy bowl. Not too technical of a course though had a few tight turns to be careful to not wash out and one barrier on a steep hill was a little challenging for little people to get over :)

Tanya Hopping following Marg going uphill over a steep barrier - photo Ryan Hopping
First race on Saturday, I had no desire to sprint hard at the start. Shantel chased down Katy's hard start as I coasted along.

turbo Katy, Shantel chasing, Marg doddling - photo Kinley Gibson
Oh, it's a race! That set me up to follow them loop after loop 20 sec down at the same spot. Found out later Katy had an adventure with a crash hurting her bike (and her knee), riding in to the pits to switch to another bike and still holding off Shantel to the finish.
With surprising speed and full-on effort, not bad over the barriers on Sat
 - photo Gordon Brenner (thanks!)
Second race on Sunday, the course was in reverse direction which flowed a little better. My x-c ski mate Marcus came over to cheer and had me warm-up with short sprints. That helped me get into the game with the speedy start.

Katy jetted by already, Shantel hot on Marg's heels - photo Darcy Reynard
I was first to start over the set of double barriers, with Katy blindly speeding by. I'm abit cautious with focusing on not clipping the barriers or hurting an ankle. After the next swoopy turns, I hopped on Katy's wheel. Shantel was on our heels and kept very close behind the next couple laps. 

Darcy named this one "Got your back!"
I jumped out of the saddle to work hard on the long flat sections into the wind having Katy take over on most of the techy sections. We switched lead over and over. It was awesome to hear everyone cheer at the bowl section with their support.

Different techniques on the off-camber section - photo Darcy Reynard
It was super wicked to follow Katy on the uphill barrier. With her great speed, it was like I got sucked along at that speed as we both bounced back onto our bikes. Very cool feeling!
ha, climb not so suited for the big chain ring! eventual weakness - photo Darcy Reynard
I felt abit like a mouse with Katy playing the cat. It was a hard ride and ultra fun to ride with another racer again. Meanwhile, I didn't realize Katy was scoping my strengths and weaknesses to plan her final move. I presumed the outcome, though again was lacking in true racing spirit to think it could be different.

I'm thankful I still race at this level though realism has set in of a few obstacles of age. Fun is a big part for me to keep racing... and it was!
Awesome barrier jumping with Samuel Beaudoin & Dave Roberts - photo Ryan Hopping

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