Busy week at home leading up to the weekend and I debated and debated between heading to STL for a Bubba weekend (Sat night and Sunday late afternoon race) or head to Lawrence KS for Joules Cross (Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning races). Made a Friday night decision to keep it closer to home and headed off to Joules Saturday for the Open race. I raced one day at Joules last year (mechanical took me out 15 minutes in) and while it was not high on my list of favorites, it would be two days of solid racing with quality competition.
Got to the course and the pre-ride found it much like last year which meant moderate up and downs, little bumpy & rough, and wide open power pedaling with 0.0% technical aspect (not my strong suit). Chatted up some friends, warmed up, and at 3:15 it was go time.
A smallish quality field of 14 lined up and after an hour of suffrage I was 9th after a frustrating day of felling 'off' and never could mentally or physically get it going. I will openly admit it's hard to get mentally fired up for a race you know your going to get drilled; in other words I could have my best race of my life and be absolutely lucky to get a top 6, oh well, enough pity...
*photos from Keith Walberg and Roger Harrison*
Sunday morning got in a solid warm up and pre-ride (much different course with less elevation change still a power course, but a little longer) and lined up in the Masters 40+. Good group of guys and solid racers. David H. jumped away and George Robinson (Slimen) dangled the entire race around 10-15 seconds ahead (simply couldn't close the gap) and finished 3rd. I raced much better as being near the front will do that to a person (unlike the Open for me).
Next weekend is race-free and I am looking forward to being home with the family. I now have 8 races done and achieved my main goal of the early season with winning the overall Cat 3 at Hermann and racing solid at both Boss Cross 1 & 2 events. I feel like I am racing better, smarter, and faster than last year, but that might just me my imagination.
My next month 'run' includes Boss Cross 3 (masters and Open), 360 Cup & Blvd weekend, and then L'ville USGP.
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