Legs still not recovered from the 8 & 24 Hours of Gold on Saturday, October 29th, it was straight into a week that held 3 individual cyclocross races:  Folsom Rodeo CX under the lights at the Folsom Pro Rodeo Area on Wednesday night, and the Sacramento Cyclocross Series Races #4 and #5 held on Saturday and Sunday at Lembi Park and the (again) the Folsom Rodeo respecitively.

Had some decent results, but paid the price in the end…..

Race #1 – Folsom Rodeo Cross under the lights

Wednesday Night under the lights at the Folsom Rodeo CX went well.  Just 4 days after racing for 8 hours, it was time to see if the legs still had any punch.  They definitely didn’t feel great, but they held up enough for a 2nd in the SS Open field.   The official results have me in 1st place, but I know better….while I finished first, I certainly wasn’t the strongest rider for the evening.  That honor goes once again to Pete Knudsen who probably would have won if he hadn’t flatted after the 5th or 6th lap allowing to overtake him.  We rode tire to tire for much of the race, but Pete launched an attack on that 5th or 6th lap that my legs couldn’t answer and he was pulling away.  And just as I was relegating myself to holding on for 2nd, he got the flat, which gave me first place on the night.  So even though the result sheet says I got 1st, there should be an asterisk next to that….

Despite the legs not feeling 100%, it certainly was fun bunny hopping the barriers:

Race #2: Sacramento Cyclocross Race Sereis #4 – Lembi Park Folsom, CA

Lembi Park is by far my favorite course of the Sacramento CX series.  It just has a little bit of everything to keep one entertainined and having fun throughout the entire race course:  lots of “hero” grass on off-camber hillsides and turns, very twisty, a handful of straight flats, a tricky sandpit, a mandatory hill run up with barriers, and all set in a really nice park that makes spectating and heckling extremely easy.

25 single speeders toed the line at the start, and I had enough legs to battle back from a terrible start into 3rd Place.  Off the line I think I was in 6th place, and then quickly lost another spot to drop into 7th, before finally getting into the groove to start moving up.  Clawed my way up into 3rd and onto the podium which felt great as I haven’t had a podium finish in a Sac Cyclocross race yet this year.

Hans Kellner did a great job of putting together a helmet cam video of the 1st lap of our SS race.  After the first corner, I sneak in front of his camera before pulling away slightly on the straightaway trying to bridge back to the front after my not so hot start:

Race #3 – Sacramento Cyclocross Series Race #5 – Folsom Rodeo Arena

Even though Lembi Park is my favorite ‘cross course in the area, this next race offered a nice change from all the grass that is at Lembi.  What was hero grass at Lembi, became bumpy singletrack at the Rodeo.  And intead of a few short little off-camber hills, the Rodeo course held some actually climbing…and muddy at that as it rained heavily the night before.

This race started with a flat mile or 2 around the adjacent baseball and soccer fields, before diving down into “Sherwood Forest” behind the rodeo grounds where the course would be become much more technical with rocky climbing, a sandy 180 degree turn, lots of singletrack, and some natural fallen log barriers that had been dragged onto the course.

Like the Lembi Park race, I once again did not get a very start and was already in ‘chase’ mode right off the bat.  Stuck behind some slower traffic in the singletrack for the first lap the two race leaders, eventual winnner Pete Knudsen and eventually second place finisher, Chris Elbow, got off to an extremely fast start and had already put in nearly a minute on me and the rest of the field by the end of the first lap.  While I eventually made it around the traffic to start the 2nd lap, the leaders were way out of sight and despite my best efforts I could not bridge back up.  Despite not being able to bridge back to the leaders I was still happy to come away with another 3rd out of 30 singlespeeders.

Demolished Back

After the weekends racing, my legs were pretty shot, and my back felt a little wrenched.  Didn’t seem like anything serious at the time, but felt just like a minor strain or muscle pull.  In retrospect, I should have taken some time off the bike, but with SSCXWC coming up very soon, I wanted to keep on riding.  Bad idea…..

Tuesday night, while on a MTB ride with the Folsom Breakouts, I mashed down on my gear to head up a steep hill and severely “threw my back out”.  Meaning, I severely pulled a muscle in my lower back and I had to get carried off the trails and I’ve been laid up in bed for the past 2 and a half days.  So it looks like no more CX racing of any kind for the next month or so.  Bah.  Oh well…my legs probably needed the rest anyway.  Just bummed that I won’t be able to race in SSCXWC in two weeks.  I guess there is always next year…..

 

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