Rapha Super Cross Gloucester-Day 1 Race Report and Photos
Great day today in Gloucester–warm temperatures, bright sunshine, and the sparkling Atlantic highlighted a bone dry, rocky and dusty course. I spent 13 hours sitting yesterday, between the job and the commute and the trip to Boston. And I didn’t ride much last week–about an hour in total on the trainer. Still–today at Gloucester I PR’ed all my segments from last year and had a solid mid-pack finish. I raced this one, really raced. I stepped off the gas for a breath or two for about 10% of the race, but I raced the rest of it. I feel like I’m coming back a little here, and maybe some form in finally coming (slowly but surely).
I had a good start, getting into the first 30% of the group and staying with it for the first lap. Into lap 2 I faded a bit, but refocused and kept my head in the game. One of the great things about a big race like Gloucester is that because you’re there with 80+ other racers, you are going to have contact with someone for a good part of the race–making you feel like you are, well, racing. It’s very motivating.
I didn’t get a top 50% finish, but came sooooooooo close, placing 44th out of 86 racers. I scored low enough points that it will bring my average down (a good thing), and I was happily surprised to see all the PRs I set. That was really encouraging. AND, I didn’t stutter step once. I got caught behind too many women who stalled in the soft dusty soil on off-camber rises which forced me off the bike–that cost me time, and possibly at least one place. Best of all, I had a sprinting photo-finish with a new young friend, a talented youngster who I played leap frog with the last 2 laps. I managed to sneak past her at the last barrier section and immediately sprinted up the paved hill to the finish. I knew she’d try to catch me, especially when I heard her dad screaming “Get her!” I barely held her off, and nosed her out by mere inches. We finished with the same time, but this was a blast of a horse race. When we crossed the line and turned to her and said “That was AWESOME!” I hope she felt the same. That will probably be the last time I manage to beat her, she’s up and coming and getting better every race.
Additionally, I got my mysterious co-blogger to race today. I think all my peer pressure is paying off, as she’s now talking about racing Night Weasels this week.
All & all I had a great day at the races and am happy with my effort. Gloucester is one of the biggest and best cyclocross races in the country for a reason. Unfortunately I can’t make the races on Sunday but if you have a chance, check out the action on the Gnarly Monkey.
PS–a big thanks to my high school friend Marylou for playing photographer! All the pics of me are courtesy of her.
The pics of the guys are mine. Enjoy!