This past weekend we Pacific Northwesterners raced Cyclocross at the Warren G. Magnuson City Park on the shores of Lake Washington in sunny and warm Seattle. I know we all want that cross weather, but sunny skies and seventy degrees is hard not to love.Magnuson is a mostly flat and fast course with a long paved section, a tricky descent into
|Darryl rocking the rocks - Peter Clancy Photo|
I lined up with the usual suspects for the Cat 4 Masters race. After the call-up Terry has us move twenty five yards up the road to a spot that was much narrower than where the initial lineup had occured. The front row is supposed to be eight wide, we now had ten in the space for a legit six (looks like we had a couple of poachers). We were bar-to-bar. I looked left, then right and saw two guys who always beat me off the line. I figured if I go all hole shot mode I might end up getting run over by at least some of the sixty guys behind me, so my strategy was to hang a little back at the start, let things separate on the long road section and then move up as well as I could.
|Native Bob in front, me in distant second - Peter Clancy Photo|
My plan was a terrific success and I hit the grass in a solid fourth. My Bellingham rival was leading strong, followed by Native Bob who was trailed by a guy in a Platypus kit. Native Bob is a little too strong to be a Cat 4, and I knew if I wanted to finish well I would have to mark his wheel. When he went around Bellingham I went with him, sadly so did a big Epic guy. Big Epic didn’t hold on for long and soon it was me and Native Bob. At first Native Bob was riding a sane pace, strong but not crazy, but then he put on the afterburners and got a good gap. I went around Big Epic and found myself dangling in the wind ten seconds behind Native Bob and maybe eight to ten seconds in front of the steam roller that was Leavenworth Luke, Dodi, Bellingham, another Fisher guy, Flatbar and Tux (named for his Tuxedo print kit).
|Feeling the Steam Roller coming - Peter Clancy Photo|
The final stretch into the finish line was into the wind and I was really scared that the steam roller could all work together to pull me in on the last hundred yards, so I pushed hard up the final ascent, took some risk on the descent and luckily managed to grab the wheel of a fairly strong guy from another category coming down the finish straight.I had ridden alone for nearly the entire race and was super excited about the podium finish. That result now pulls me up into second place for the series.