Sunday, September 14, 2014

4th and DNF at CCCX finals by Matthew Sloan

35+ 3/4s and 35+ 1/2/3s  

Masters 35+ 3/4s

CCCX went back to the old finish today. Early in the season, I didn't have luck with this finish. A summer of racing made me confident of a better result.

Tactically, I raced an almost perfect race. I didn't burn matches and I knew who the competition was. There were a couple of attacks but even racers' own teammates seemed to pull them back - par for the course with 3/4s. Race tactics play out more in the higher categories, in my limited experience.

I felt strong on the hills. When there was a break, I would take the 2nd or 3rd wheel coming past me to be pulled back on.

This race all comes down to the final turn. If you aren't well positioned - "forget about it!" I was 3rd going into the last turn. The winner of the last three CCCX 35+ 3/4s was second. He gained a spot, I lost one! However, I was really happy with the result and I have the t-shirt to prove it! My legs felt really good. On the downhill section I found myself pulling back a bit so as not to go into first place. Next year when I race this course, I will try a flyer at that point. Hopefully, I will gain a gap and hold onto it for the finish. But this year, well, 4th felt good today!

One terribly unfortunate thing happened during the last part of a race. Three racers were involved in an accident. One had to be air lifted out, another broke his collar bone. This put a bit of a downer on the race. Let's hope they are back on their bikes shortly. It took 50 minutes for the course to clear. By that time even with some rolling around, my legs felt stiff. I started the 35+ 1/2/3s but lost touch early on. Not wanting to time trial for another half hour or so, I called it a day. Definitely, better luck next year!

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