With cyclocross season starting a month earlier this year than last I really have not had the build up of excitement that I had last season waiting for the first race to roll around. I have been enjoying Yeti spotting, learning to ride a fixed gear and throwing in a little bit of work at Swope Park. Luckily I woke up early Saturday morning because I went to the shop and put on a new drivetrain at 5:00 AM. I hate to say it because I wanted to love SRAM's road groups but the Shimano chains and cassettes work loads better. After a few hours digging around in the dirt at Swope, Amber and I came home real quick so I could grab my gear and head East to Mike Gaherty's house where I was going to hop in his big rig pickup for the drive to Herman, MO. Herman is a quaint little village right along the Katy trail that is all Wineries and B&B's. It began to sink in as we pulled up to the venue and I caught I glimpse of the epic stair run up that I should have prepared more for this. As I was riding my pre-laps I realized that this could get ugly and I needed to let it rip and see what happens. I received a call up but that still had me on the third row of an 8 wide field that was going to be cramming into a narrow chicane just seconds into the race. When the race started I tried to be as aggressive as possible and I got through the tight stuff in decent shape but it was still disheartening to see the leaders 30 seconds ahead before I got where I could chase. The legs were certainly there, I was passing people and moving up solidly, although I knew it was not a good sign that I was reduced to walking the stairs on the initial lap. That aside I continued to move up and worked my way into 5th place and it seemed like a couple laps in a row I was reeling in Bill Stolte who was in 4th. With 6 laps to go I went into the sand section pretty hot and stumbled and pulled my groin pretty fiercely. I knew immediately it was not good but went on a bit more until I fell out of the money places. I pulled over and watched the rest of the race from the sidelines getting some good motivation to start training hard and have a solid cross season. Even though it went crappy I had a fun time and was happy I went. December cross national is a ways away but it is time to start laying it down to have a good showing in front of the hometown folks.
Sunday in Lenexa, be there.