Here’s Greg’s race report on his big win at David Douglas #2:
DD2 was my first ever cross race last year, so yesterday was sort of a 1 year CX anniversary for me.
For the first time, I got a call up and was front & center at the start of the race. The mountain biker next to me immediately jumped out of the saddle and took off. My roadie instincts kicked in and I drafted for the first 200 meters or so. As soon as we hit the first grassy patch, he faded and I slingshot past and into the front as we entered the first series of turns. I am used to chasing, not leading, so it felt surreal to be ahead of the pack so early in the race. I decided to go at a hard steady tempo and held the advantage into the single-track descent. I leveraged the lead by hitting the hills hard and kept the pace to the base of the HUGE monster run-up. Rode up the first third to a plateau, walked the next third, slow jogged the last third (my calves were burning at this stage) and emerged from that massive hill just barely in front of the lead group. There were about 5 strong riders right behind me. Continue reading
Burk Webb put together this great video. Congrats to all of the Hammer people who took part in this mud fest!
All morning I felt horrible. My wife encouraged me to stay home and rest. I deeply considered her advice, but in the end I decided to go for it – it was dry when I left and I had preregistered (didn’t want to throw away $25). Taking the advice of the organizers I rode to the event. Wind was strong and it started to rain. I needed the miles so I didn’t mind.
By the time I got there I was pretty wet and the venue was SUPER sloppy. It sounded like a totally different course from the morning races. I immediately worried about my tire selection. Thank God, Bryan was working the camera because I had a tent to set my bag under and get some relief from the wind and rain. It felt like true cross weather.
I had a chance to pre-ride and was very thankful. This was one complicated course and by race time it was even slicker and deeper. During pre-ride I blew off the course and wiped out in some rocks. Lovely. BUT, I learned how to manage a key corner. I also experienced “The Dragon’s Back” (detailed below), a river of peanut butter mud and a descent into a lefthand berm which had me completely out of my comfort zone. It was nasty. Definitely a mountain biker’s trail (of which I am not … I struggled). I found the best tire pressure and was ready. Continue reading