Friday, February 01, 2013

2012 IMBCS/XC racing recap part 1

Rather than go whole hog on each race, I figure it might be easiest just to do a quick recap of my cross country distance races from last season. 2012 was far and away my best year yet. Part of my goal was to race in enough local series races to qualify for the end of the year IMBCS championship in my class. I raced the singlespeed class and was hoping for a solid year, but we also race with the comp class guys so my secondary goal was to finish ahead of as many of those guys as I could as well. To qualify for the series championships, you had to race 5 of the 10 races at a minimum. Here are the quick recaps.

IMBC #2- Camp Ingawanis full course
For the first race out of the box this year, I was pretty nervous. We raced the full north and south course this time which was a first for me. I'd raced each side separately, but not together. With a longer gravel road transfer in the middle, I decided to keep a little bigger gear on the bike not wanting to spin out so much. Kyle took off like a scalded rabbit getting a 50 yard gap on everyone heading into the woods. As soon as we hit the small road climb between singletrack sections, I pulled myself back to his wheel, but it was tough. Andy Bach ended up making us look like monkeys though as he passed and gapped us on the first time through the gravel road transfer while Kyle and I were drafting each other and spinning our asses off.

Shortly after hitting the south trail section, I was leading Kyle and overcooked a corner on some loose trail litter. Kyle thankfully avoiding running over my head, but in the few seconds it took me to right myself, he put a small gap on me that I couldn't close. I'd see him time and again and think I was closing, but he was too strong at that point and I couldn't shut it down. I managed to follow him home taking 2nd place singlespeed and 3rd overall in the comp/ss combo.

IMBCS #3- Moorehead Park
Moorehead Mayhem has been on my list of races to hit for a few years. I finally made it in 2011 only to snap a chainring on lap 1. I wanted some revenge this year so I was back for more. Weather conditions were perfect and the course was in top form. I lined up with Kyle, Jubil, and a bunch of comp class guys for the all out sprint down the gravel leading to the singletrack.

At the drop of the arm, we were off and sprinting. Jubil and I ended up banging bars about halfway down the road as he got the position on me. I rolled into the singletrack about 4th spot with Jubil and Kyle leading the way. As we got to the long gravel grind to the middle portion of the course, Kyle and I got a gap on the field. Once we hit the back rollers though, Kyle waived me by as something was up. We'd later on figure out something he had eaten came back with a vengeance during the race.

I stayed on the gas through the race with only a couple issues where my chain dropped twice on me. In the end I was 1st singlespeed and 1st overall in the comp/ss combo. I was pretty stoked to get my first win of the year.

Charging up the gravel

IMBCS #5- Beverly Park Fat Tire Frenzy
July found me headed up to check out some new trails in the Cedar Rapids area. My good friends the Snoops had been telling me about this great park filled with singletrack for quite a while so I figured now was the time to go check it out. I coerced Mr. Fuller into heading up to race with me so we hit the road and got up to the park in plenty of time to go for a nice pre-ride. The day was turning out to be a scorcher so I was doing my best to stay cool and hydrated.

The course was nothing short of phenomenal with some fast punchy sections, some extended climbs, a little high speed double track, and even some bermed turns. Keith has a killer opening sprint and its his home course so I was planning to stick to his tail as closely as possible. Neal was apparently of the same mind and ended up taking 2nd slot into the singletrack as I was hollering to make sure he stuck like glue to Keith's wheel as we powered through the opening climb and fast follow up section. We finally got to the open grass climb area and I put my climbing power to use trying to string things out and open a gap. I slowly opened things up over the next couple climbs and was soon out in front.

About 3/4 through the lap, my chain dropped. As I was stopped to spin it back on, Neal came roaring back by having quickly closed the gap I had worked so hard for. I hopped back on and kept the pace up while trying not to toss myself into panic/chase mode. Soon enough, Neal stumbled on a nasty angled root section and I passed back by him. I managed to ride clean through the rest of my laps finishing out 1st singlespeed and 1st overall in the comp/ss combo again. Definitely a great race with lots of people cheering out on the course and at the start finish area. I'll be heading back to this one again for sure.

Rolling fast

Suns out, guns out...

Next up the last two point races of the season.

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