On Sunday I made my first trip out to Jamesburg, NJ for HPCX, round #8 of the MAC series. After a decent ride yesterday, I was hoping for much of the same today...maybe even a better start?
The day started out chilly, in the low 30's. That left some frost on the course as the sun came out turned things slippery for the first race, men's Cat4 C. I felt pretty good in warm up, nothing spectacular. There were a lot of turns, some roots and some good elevation gain...no big climbs per se, but you could tell you were going uphill. There were also no real power sections which suited me well. On this day, the guy that could manage the climbs and find some flow through the turns would be up front.
My race (B Masters CAT2/3/4) started at 10am. About 90 of us lined up outside the starting grid for call ups. The start was an uphill asphalt climb that led to a fast downhill into a series of tighter turns. Not exactly my forte, but I knew I needed to get into the first tight section in a decent position so I didn't get bottled up. Somehow the call up got messed up and I wound up in the 2nd row instead of the first. The guy in front of me didn't get clipped in right away which led to me being stuck behind him. I got out to the side and held my own, but as we entered the fast downhill I saw I as in 12th or 13th. I chose to take the inside into the tight downhill right turn which probably wasn't too popular with some of the guys that caught my elbow in that turn but it's what I needed to do. The shot below is about 1/4 way through the first lap and I was sitting 10th wheel.
I made a few passes in the lower section and up passed the pit area and as we hit the tight technical turn behind the start I saw I was up to 4th. I wasn't redlining it too bad and was feeling pretty good. Coming across the asphalt lot into the uphill section I was up to third and as the resistance cranked up going uphill I found myself easily riding by the two leaders. OH SHIT I thought, now what? I was pretty close to maxing out so I figured why not push the next two climbs and try to get a gap. Cross the finish line and I had somehow managed to open a gap. Could I hold it? As we made it by the officials one more time I could tell the gap was opening up. Kelly Cline was giving me some good words of wisdom and trying to tell me to settle, be smooth and let them do the hard work to bridge. I was still working mind you... (glad I brushed my teeth!)
Coming through the bell lap I was feeling pretty good. A few lappers here or there, but I could take my lines, be smooth, carry speed and minimize my efforts. I came across the line solo with about a 30 second lead. Race wound up being shorter than usual at 31 minutes, but I'll take it. I'm confident that I could have held the gap if not extended it. So, I grabbed my first MAC win...I would have never imagined. Shame I can't / couldn't do all of the races. With 6 races in out of 8 completed I sit in 4th in points. I don't know that my schedule will let me do another MAC race this year, but I'm happy for what I've accomplished. Now it's time for some local races. Can't believe the season is winding down already.
I love this shot...not too often you get to stand on the podium on top of the current MAC leader! Thanks for the shot Eloy!
So I high tailed it out of there to make it to Autumn's game. They mixed the boys and girls this week and Greg was kind enough to cover for me and get things going. Would have been there in time if I didn't win that stinking race! The game was good, the girls definitely upped their game with the boys around. We have two weeks to go and you can really see how much the girls have learned this year.
Then we headed down to my mom's house for dinner and some trick or treating. She's got a great community and the kids just love going from door to door with their cousins. Mom and Dad enjoyed it as well! (Autumn was the ladybug w/ glasses and Joshua was a golfer)