Cheshire CX Race Report, 50+ (CAT 1-4)
By Rich Allen
Saturday morning started with the chilliest temperatures to date of the fall season, somewhere around freezing at our 9:00am start. The course was identical to last year’s course with the big climb on the back section of the course, a hecklers and crowd delight! It’s fun to watch people suffer and fight their way up the climb. Many describe the course as very mountain bikie and I would agree. I thought it was a good course overall and was glad to be there after not being able to race this course for the past few years.
At the start, I lined up right behind Boxy and told him “I got your back covered” which is becoming my standard line to him. The start/staging area has a nice long straight away with a hairpin turn which strung the riders out. I had a good start and wasn’t very far back after the hairpin. It was pretty cool watching the frost from the grass get kicked up into the air from the hammerheads at the front. Come on Rich, focus, this is a bike race. I kept the leaders insight most of the first lap but learned my lesson in Hartford last week to stay within my limits and not blow myself up. Riding the hill on the back of the course was one of my favorite sections of the course. After the first lap things settled down and like most CX races I ended up riding with 2 other guys for most of the race. I was following their wheels and watching their lines. They were both definitely better than me in tight turns and switchbacks, forcing me to sprint out of some of the turns to stay on their wheels. As I passed the announcers pavilion on one of the earlier laps I heard a familiar voice calling out. It was non-other than Heavy D on the Expo “bullhorn” encouraging me to “chase ‘em down Rich!”. Gotta like the Expo spirit! Thanks, Heavy D. My companions and I traded spots a couple of times and I ended up finishing between both of them. Boxy pulled off another victory and I came in 7th out of the 16 racers. All in all, it was a good day for Expo and a couple of the old guys. Photo credit goes to Sandol; thanks for the moral support!