Martin Jones, our intrepid North American crosser had another successful weekend of Cross, here are his thoughts:
Westwood Velo 2-Day Cross Weekend
Presented by Westwood Velo Cycling Club
Anthony Wayne Recreational Area, Harriman State Park, NY
Saturday (Day 1):
New venue, but not new promoters. Westwood boys always put on a great show and this past weekend they excelled themselves. Two double barriers and two run ups (one steps / one dirt) less than 30 seconds apart – ouch!!!
This is my third race so far this season and continuing what would appear to a fruitless task, to get upgrade points. Decided to mix it with the Cat3 riders, otherwise known as the ‘Killer B’s’. On the 2nd row and for once get my foot in first time, get through a gap – yep there was a gap I swear, though the photos make like I might have put someone on the thick-suck-me-in-grass, the rider had already been throwing his weight around when we lined up, so I didn’t feel too bad, in fact I didn’t feel bad at all! We hit the transition and go up, I’m managing to hold a 3rd or 4th spot and then start to slide, we’re only 60 seconds into the race so no need to worry, yet! A few elbows later and I’m back on the wheel of the leaders at the first dismount, but of course can’t clip back in – so lose any advantage.
At the first run up I feel like I get swamped by riders, well 3 of them. I’d handled the run up fine warming up, but probably ran it 2 or 3 times too many and find it a struggle first time in the race.
The tone for the race is pretty much set, 3 guys off the front with 4th through 8th swapping places, getting gaps and losing them again for the next 30 minutes. With 2 laps to go, guy in 2nd blows up and comes back fast. With one to go I burn one too many matches on the long road section and get swallowed (again) and pop out the back of the group in 8th – which means no upgrade points, with field size points will only go to top 5. If I take a couple risks and stay smooth – not a combo I’m known for – I might catch up again.
I get lucky, guy in 3rd gets a mechanical and is getting back on when I pass him, he’s right there and working hard to get back up a few spots, less than half a lap to go, lots of slippery turns and some pretty swampy grass and one set of barriers. I need at least a bike length for when we hit the road for the last time, I catch one more rider and with a sweet dismount and remount get a very small gap – hold to the line – finish in 5th – and yes I get ‘1’ upgrade point – 9 more to go. Very hard race, harder than the two Elite Men’s I’ve in past weeks.
One side note from this weekends race – they released the standings for the PA Series, and I’m leading the Elite Men’s, wonders never….
Great effort Martin! See the pictures here.
If you’re off racing this weekend let us know what happened and send in any pics.