Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kansas Double Race Weekend

Contrasting weekend races were on tap with the Grand Prix HPT (an auto dirt track race course) being traditionally crazy fast with long straights and fast 'infield' and outer sections, while contrasting De Stad Cup at StMU featured climbing, technically challenging sections, and a little more climbing.

Saturday I arrived in Topeka to cool temps (dropping steadily as the night progressed) for the GP HPT night race and this year was a 180* change from years past. Rain the days before made everything a muddy (the thick paste type) and it was clear you better have brought your running legs (which I just happened to pack - smiling still). Most of those who chose to 'ride' the thick parts of the infield were rewarded with clogged wheels and derailleurs, while tactical riders moved a tad slower, but much more consistent keeping their bikes operational. I chose the path of the 'tortoise' and ran most parts and by night's end bagged 2nd in the Cat 3 race, which was defined by physical and mental discipline.

After a good night's sleep it was off to Leavenworth, KS for Sunday's De Stad Cup #2 held at St. Mary's University and is by far my favorite venue. With so many different terrain features with which to work they didn't disappoint again this year with lots of climbing, downhill barriers, optional technical run/ride ups and super fun flowing tight corners (and of course off-camber, but that's a given).

Legs felt pretty heavy from the prior night's run-fest during warm ups and early laps of my Cat 2/3 race, but after 2 in they opened up and I was able to get down to business; too bad the leaders were already gone with little chance of tracking them down. Had a blast riding this course and finished a decent 6th place against a strong field. I did notice that only one rider ahead of me raced the night before (just saying...).

Both events the BLUE was solid and even with the shallower clearance on last year's model it never clogged up and performed like a champ. I personally hope we continue our relationship with Blue for future seasons as the Norcross is a freaking rocket. Saturday night I opted for my Vitorria mud specific tubulars (sorry Challenge) which hooked up great at low pressure in the thick slop and shedded like a dog on a white couch (perfection).
Mike G. kitted up for both events and had solid results at each; no signs of the Crust either day... must be saving up for something special at Jingle Cross. Only six more races left for the 2010 season for me and while I am looking forward to my rookie appearance at Jingle Cross I'm more focused on a solid result the week following at the Missouri State Champs.

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