Monday, September 19, 2011

Dogfish Cross Starts the Season Off Right

nd just like that it's we're back at...

Jeff Yielding's Dogfish Cross is the kick off to MO's 'cross season and is a restaurant quality event; Jeff and crew go to great lengths to make sure every aspect of the races go off top notch to include seamless registration, great mix of a little everything on the race courses, prizes and swag, and endless entertainment. Now on to the racing.

Ira and I loaded up and made the three hour drive to Hermann is perfect 'cross weather/temps; everything about it just felt 'crossy. The course got some rain earlier in the day but it wasn't sloppy, just a little damp and cool.

Checked into the motel and relaxed a bit before our 8pm start for the Cat 3 race. Back to the venue to roll a couple laps and found everything was pretty tacky and fast. The course was pretty routine (which = awesome) for Hermann Park with a good mix of stuff; especially like the double sand with the low barriers on the turn -nice touch. Course was pretty tacky and nothing slick to speak of. Time flew by and before you know it I was embro'ed up with MWI's own sweet blend (available at team store) and on the line ready to go.

Got a good start and settled into second place off the asphalt and by the time we made a couple turns on the course myself and another guy had a little gap. I passed him leading to the stairs hoping not to get caught up behind a mess and it worked out pretty good as from that point on I had clean driving off the front. After 4 laps (of 8) I had established a healthy lead and settled in to maintain it and with 2 to go I was able to back off the gas some (hoping to save a little to Sunday) and cruise in for the solo win. Picked up the Source Endurance leaders jersey and hopefully would keep it tomorrow. The new carbon wheels and Challenge Grifo's were crazy hooking up and made for such a quicker ride. Everything felt pretty sharp and hopefully a good indicator for the weekend and the season.

*Pactimo has by far a super fit, comfy level, and pro feel and I know the above kit is not the latest, but I simply love the Black SS*

Here is a video circulating from the boys at Airborne; incrediblely done! There's a couple clips of me early, but after that its all of the chasers.

Sunday was nice and laid back as we didn't race until 2pm. We grabbed a little breakfast then headed over to watch the Masters and check out the course. It rained overnight and everything looked a bit slicker than the night before. Back to motel to hang out and then back to race.

Rolled a couple laps before the race and while it wasn't bad there were some slick corners to watch for. Rolled to the line wearing the Source Endurance leaders jersey (target on back) and took by light-hearted ribbing from the others.

Another solid start and led off the pavement where I promptly took out the tape on the first little sweeper (embarrasing). Regained composure (still leading) and put in some good digs to get off the front with a decent gap by the top of the stairs. From there on it was like the day before - ride smooth thru the turns, stomp a bit on straights, and really push the pavement. By the second lap I had a decent lead and maintained it until to top of the stairs with less than 2 to go. BAM, chain gets jacked up in my Pauls catcher and it's time for cool heads. Took a bit but worked it back on just as a Big Shark guy passed me; jump on his wheel and follow until last time up the stairs where I put in a good dig; got a little gap and rode it to the finish for the win.

*Above pics snagged from Jason Watkins and Dan Singer*

By winning both day I won the overall points and snagged some goodies from Tin Mill brewery (good stuff). I wanted to go well at Hermann and it worked out as I hoped. Great catching up with folks I hadn't seen in a while and as always chatting up Jeff.

Soooo, I appears I probably need to punch my Cat 2 license and get it over with. I was hoping to get to race Boss Cross as a 3, but that's not realistic after this weekend. Looks like I will race quite a bit of masters stuff this year with some Open mixed in.

Rest and recovery and get ready to do it again in STL on Wednesday at the Gateway Cross Cup...

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