Northampton CX race report
By Keith Gauvin
North Hampton stop 3 &4 in Verge cyclocross series. Noho is the oldest uci race on the east coast. This race is great in my opinion for many reasons. One its just about an hours drive for most Expo folk, two the venue is super spectator friendly , three and most importantly you get to stop in North hampton for burritos on the way home. I believe this year marks the 23 rd year the event has been run. As long as I can remember the weather for this race has always been crisp and sunny autumn like weather. This year mother nature had something special up her sleeve. The Forecast called for grey skies and rain in the afternoon. My race went off at 10:45 am. I do consider myself a cross guy but I must confess that I was not sad our race was spared the deluge that followed shortly after we crossed the line. As far as my race , I came in 7th I should have pedaled harda..
Day two.. On the drive up I pondered "Why do you race" my thoughts were varied, and random. But I came away with an explanation something like this. Cross racing to me is like no other animal. From the official saying "the race can start anytime after my whistle" Everything else in life disappears. Once the whistle blows you think of only getting to the corner or the first bottleneck before everyone else. You are completely at the mercy of the course and her desired outcome for you. Bills ,worries, deadlines and for the most part everything else in life ( except for the cheers of all your mates at the race) disappear. "Absolute Purity is why I race".
So with the big question of the day answered I made it up to Look Park. Mother nature closed her eyes on us today but decided to blast us with 20-30 mph gusts all day long . I was happy that Mr. Grumpy had staked down the tent for gale force winds..
The course was very different from years past on day two. They added a tricky ride/run up with a super sketchy descent . It was to be the first real " bottleneck "of the day. Other than that a few zigs and a few zags and you were back at the start.
I cheered from the warmth of the tent to all expos racing and gave the requisite "You're right there, catch that next group, don't give up".
It was time for me to line up. yada, yada, yada I shoulda pedaled Harda....