Monday, September 20, 2010

Jackson Park Race Weekend

Drum roll please. And the winner of the Chicago Cross Cup Tshirt contest is... Word Jumper. Duh. With all the voting shenanigans that went on in the last few days I feel a bit like Jan Ullrich on the podium next to Lance Armstrong. Be sure to get a tshirt to support the CCC, WBR and show the world there is such a thing as cyclocross.

Always a bridesmaid...


I was heckled pretty well yesterday, but mostly because Hemme is my teammate. The context: Hemme had a great race earlier in the day, me, not so much.

Mike started in the second row which can cause a few problems for the guys who got the lottery-system first row call ups for the season opener. When an elite racer hears the whistle it's like dropping a match in five gallon bucket of gasoline. Bam! Equal parts instantaneous power and complete disregard for anything around. I'm sure Mike's aggressiveness caught a few guys in the front row by surprise. After a 150m drag race and a couple of corners he sat in fifth wheel.


The lead group opened a pretty big gap on the nearly 2 mile first lap. Then it was classic battle, swords bloodied, shields dented. McLaughlin opened a gap a few laps in, Mike made some big pulls, then I saw him contemplating if he should rip his rear shifter off the bike. The hood had rotated 180 degrees and jacked his shifting. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The 15 or 20 seconds it would have taken to fix it would have meant a nearly impossible chase back to the lead group. Mike road it out for a great fourth place finish to officially kick off his cross season.


My Hemme face

I had about one of everything in Sunday's race. It started with a call up to the second row as a consolation prize for being the first looser in the tshirt contest.

Cole Trickle

Next up, I caused a pretty little ditty of a crash in the second corner. Sorry everyone. I was sitting just outside the top ten when I tried to set up for the corner and tuned my wheel directly into the back of someone. I almost saved it but instead ended up getting a tire burn on my arm as I made my way to mother Earth. I got up quick and tried to keep it together.

The second lap was a little clumsy too, I was stopped once behind a wreck and got slowed down going over someone's bike that went down directly in front of me. I'm pretty sure someone called me Slow Hemme as I came by - like Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Lap three was my best. I was warmed up and pretty clear headed, and wanted to do some productive racing. I made four passes, three of them in the more technical parts of the course and the final one was a bike throw at the line for 22nd place.

All. Most. There.

Big thanks to the Chicago Cross Cup and xXx for starting the season off right. It should be interesting to see how the growth of the sport, the new rules, and all the new faces shape this season. If there is one barometer we can use to judge the health of our local scene it is the participation of so many badass women racers. As it has been since the beginning of time, where there are women, there will be men.


Anonymous said...

I'm a little surprised Word Jumper was so popular. I suspect some poll rigging!

I would've much rather 2nd or 3rd place be the winner, but oh well.

Jonathan said...

To be honest I think there was some poll rigging on both sides. I watched the votes do some crazy stuff in the last week. Or, maybe the masses were just whip into a frenzy by good design... either way no harm done.

Mike said...

Thats an exceptional race face, makes me proud