The Uncle Sam CX race took place on Saturday and Sunday, October 17 & 18, 2015. Here’s your trivia for the day. I asked one of the NYCROSS guys why it was called the “Uncle Sam” GP CX. Apparently, Uncle Sam was from Troy, hence the name.
Boxy had Gauvin and me up early for the 2 hour trek to Troy, NY. We were on the road just after 7:00am. But the ride went quickly and the scenery was really nice with the Berkshire foliage ablaze.
The weather was damp, cool and breezy Saturday morning when we arrived at the venue, Prospect Park. The park is perched on the top of a hill which overlooks the city to the west. The NYCROSS boys did a great job putting the course together; all 3 of us really liked it. There was a fair amount of vertical with each lap, a little bit of pavement, a steep ride up, a step run up, some off camber stuff, a lot of fast sweeping grassy turns and no really great places to rest.
Boxy, Gauvin and I were racing the Masters 35+, 45+, 55+ all rolled into 1 group of 51 guys. This was Gauvin’s first race of the year so as we were lining up he was relegated to the back of the pack with no points to place him where he belonged. Not much of a handicap for the Gauvinator. Boxy was called up to the 1st row and somehow I got called up to the second row. The starting line was on a paved section of road then into the grass with some big sweeping turns and into the top section of the course. Boxy had his typical good start and was second for the hole shot and would have had it if he didn’t miss his peddle. I had a decent start but didn’t have great legs and watched the race leaders pull away from me with no response from the engine room. As I realized I was about done the Gauvinator blew by me. I finally settled into the rhythm of the race somewhere in the middle of the pack. Meanwhile, at the front Boxy and Gauvin were mixing it up showing some Expo love.
One of the benefits of CX racing is you can be anywhere in the pack and find someone to race with which is what I did. There were 2 guys who came by me and I was trying to limit the gap they opened on me for about 3 laps. At the beginning of the bell lap we were 10 seconds apart from each other. Near the bottom of the course where the steep ride up followed by a steep off camber descent and a run up with steps I got really close to the guy in front of me. I kept pushing until I caught him at the bottom of paved section which was a climb to the finish line. He was applying the pressure and I kept saying to myself to just hold his wheel until I could see the finish line. Once I saw the finish I knocked down a couple of gears and emptied the tank. I was able to get by him and got really close to the guy in front of him. We were all scored with the same time. It was fun to sprint against them and we rode a warm down lap together.
Boxy and Gauvin had really good race results, Gauvin was 5th overall, Boxy was 8th overall, I was 24th overall and 9th in the 55+ age group. It was a fun day, the course was fast and hard.