Hurt in the Dirt

Hurt in the Dirt

Monday, November 7, 2011

UTCX Heber

I was able to ward off more traveling, and instead stayed home to race the local Utah series this past weekend in Heber. The entire night before it was lightly snowing which accumulated to a couple of inches on the front lawn by morning. Sarah Kaufmann and I packed up the truck and headed for Heber City expecting the race venue at the fairgrounds to be covered with even more snow. To our surprise, as we headed up highway 40 near Park City, there was only a slight dust of snow on the ground. Instead of racing in the snow, we were going to be racing in the MUD!! Yay...I love dirty races!!
Sarah and I had somehow not raced any cyclocross races together this season, and the last time we met on cyclocross bikes was a year ago at Mt. Ogden Golf Course for the Utah State Championships. That was not something either of us wanted to remember! During that race Sarah and I got tangled up on a techie section of the wet grass causing a crash in which Sarah broke her collar bone for the 3rd time. She ended up at the hospital and I ended up in 2nd place behind Kris Walker who was able to evade the wreck and pedal to victory.

"The Crash" of 2010 Utah State Championship race
 Some of the girls were very excited to have a messy race. Since I have had quite a few rainy, muddy races this season, it seemed like just another dirty race. However, this would be the coldest race of the season for me. I was glad to have a cold race because with the National Championships being in Madison Wisconsin the first week of January, my body needs to know what it's like racing in the frigid cold. When the race started, I was able to take the hole shot and was first through the slick off-cambered chicane turns. I did my best to stay in front since the first mile or so of the course was a single-track of grass surrounded on both sides by snow. Over the first 2 laps, I attacked multiple times and Sarah was stuck like glue to my tire. We had created a respectable gap from the other competitors and I figured that unless one of us had a bad crash or mechanical, we would finish 1st and 2nd. On the third lap, Sarah was ready for my attack just before the dirt run-up because I attacked there on the previous laps. She jumped up ready to contest, but I didn't go and we rubbed tires! I felt the buzz and looked back to see Sarah crashing. Not again, I thought. This is what happened last time! Thankfully Sarah was just fine and as I saw her getting back on her feet I did what any true friend would do...I attacked! Ok, so maybe that's not what a good friend would do! But that's what racing friends do.

The single-track in the snow
 There were 2 laps to go after the crash, so I continued to ride at a hard pace and try to keep Sarah from catching me. By then my feet were numb and I was clumsy through the barriers and run-up, and my derailleurs were covered with grass and mud so I dropped my chain twice, despite these problems I was able to hold on for the win. It was a good lesson for how to dress for the colder races--I need to work on keeping my feet warmer! It was nice to race close to home and with my friends. Thanks to Eric Greenwood for the race photos.

Up next I leave for the next USGP. The Derby Cup in Louisville, KY next weekend. I've put in some good training over the last 2 weeks and I'm ready for some racing! Thanks for reading!

The greasy mud run-up was not nice on the numb feet!

1 comment:

  1. 'I did what any true friend would do...I attacked!' Haha..I love it - you know I would do the same to you, friend :)