Team PBK.com rider Martin Jones has been very busy lately, one of his activities has been racing in the Concrete Crater Cross race in Trexlertown, PA.
An early season race for Martin and a well earned and respectable 5th spot finish.
Here is his report:
Elite Men – Cat 1/2/3 & U23
At last the cross season is here, and with the naffest start I’ve ever had! – my first race of the 2010/2011 season. The course is 90% smooth with lots of v v v tight turns, one muddy section that could leave you looking like the whole course is the muddy section if you took the wrong line and another section with lots of ugly roots, that if you’re ride like me will put you in the tape and have you loose 20 seconds, not cool when you’ve started to gap the group you where with and put your self in the final podium spot.
So the scene is set, I was in the money and now I’m not, still 7 laps to go, hopefully I have enough time and energy to catch back up, an unlikely scenario given the guys that just flew by where all under 30 and I’m pushing five-zero!
Gave myself half a lap to get back into something of a rhythm – noticed the group in front where coasting a few sections, if I nail these stretches I could get back on, if I don’t bonk first! Training seems to have been going well, now’s the time to see if what I’ve been doing is actually working! Riding a single ring (42) and 12/26 at the back – I’m jamming out of all the turns to get back up to speed, the young studs in front all riding beefy doubles which takes way too much effort for me to push. Looks like the constant accelerations / decelerations is starting to tell on them and they’re splitting up – which will be great If I can catch one of them, then I’ll have 2 other carrots in front!
I catch the first one, who makes no effort to stay on my wheel as I squeeze by on the inside of a turn (always a welcome release when someone you catch just lets you ride by) – 2 more carrots up ahead but neither are showing any sign of faltering.
The first 4 riders are off and away – 5th place (Rock Lobster from CA) and 6th place (Pittsburg) just in front and we have 4 or 5 laps to go, Rock Lobster bloke is getting plenty of coverage from the announcer, suggesting that perhaps he has the last podium spot sewn up. I’m getting closer to ‘Mr Pittsburg’ and finally catch him, he offers words of encouragement, that I take to mean ‘I feel like poo and won’t chase you’ – but something was lost in the translation and he sticks to me like glue! In an effort to drop him we both catch Rock Lobster – which is cool but I’d rather be on my own and not have a shadow. I jump hard out of the next turn and keep it up for the next half a lap, my back is killing me and legs are starting to complain, but the elastic is stretching. Snap, 3 laps to go Rock Lobster is toast. Pittsburg is on my tail, but he’s having to work hard to stay in touch, or is he? This is becoming a suffer-fest – a lap where I could cruise would be nice but not an option – finally Pittsburg guy loses some ground and I have a few valuable seconds on him – 2 laps to go, and I’m back in the money!
No time to relax though, after all this is cross and the poo can hit fan anytime! – try to stay smooth without losing speed, neither is easy for an old git whose fitness is superior to his bike handling skills – finally manage to keep to together to the finish 5th, grabbing the last podium spot and stay in the money!
Very happy, though the field was small, it wasn’t an easy race, great to know I can ride hard for an hour. A great boost to my confidence and looking forward the next one – but a few beers first!
Here he is sporting the new PBK Team Kit, we hope to hear more from Martin throughout the 2011 Cross season.
If you’re racing this season let us here your stories and we’ll publish as many on here as we can!