NBX GP of Cyclocross Day 1 (45+) and 2 (45+ AND cat 3 State Champs)
By Gary Aspnes
I have come to think of the races at Goddard Park in Warwick RI as my hometown cross races. Matt B and the NBX crew consistently put on great races finding new ways to use the terrain of the park to make things interesting. The courses are a mix of power pavement sections, root (and this year, mud) filled wooded sections, a couple of short but somewhat challenging climbs and one (Saturday) or two (Sunday) beach run sections that really string together well. I usually (barring mechanicals) look forward to these and have had some of my better results here. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the Sunday races were the Rhode Island State Championships.
Saturday was a good race overall. I had a decent start and sat just about 30 seconds behind the second main group for a couple of laps, but could not close it and ended up with a small group that finally got caught by the 55+ leaders. Practicing good etiquette, we let them by but I rode their coattails for a while, gapping off the others who had been with me in the process and catching one more 45+ racer to finish up 21st of 57.
The Championship races Sunday were the key focus and I got greedy, hoping to score gold in both the 45+ and Cat 3s. I had a pretty good start and an overall pretty clean race. In the end I finished 18th of 65 but first Rhode Islander, claiming the 45-49 masters Gold. I had 2 hours to wait, recharge and keep fresh for the cat 3s. That turned into more of a race with the 3 main contenders for RI racing withing 15s of each other for most of the race. I had been in wining position up through 1.5 laps to go, but was feeling the strain of the second race, especially on the runs. But the nail in the coffin was when I kicked out of my left pedal twice on the last lap and slammed the inside of my ankle on the backswing. The bruising made running even harder and I ended up having to let my two closest competitors by and settling for Bronze in the Cat 3s. So, in the end, two medals for the day and one of my better finishes for the year in the 45+ race.
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Photo credit: Steve the Bike Guy Velo Studio