Let me start out by saying that this is one of my favorite Cyclocross races. It has a lot of technical sections with fast turns, a hard packed sand section with fast swooping turns where you actually slide sideways as you flow through them, a wood chipped section where they incorporate some serious loose turns, a nice hill climb, off camber switch-backs and a long straightaway across the finish line. It is a top shelf event in my view.
As always, I got there early and did 3-4 easy laps to warm up and check out the course. I always bring two bikes with different set ups. Its either a fast course where I use the Challenge Chicanes or a loose, slippery course where I use Challenge Baby Limus. I tried the course with the Chicanes and it was a disaster. There were too many sections prone to sliding out. I decided to go with the Baby Limus and that was the right choice for the course.
Its nice to have a front row start and as long as you can stay up front, it is all good. I managed to stay in the top 6 most of the race and with two to go, I made sure I started establishing my position. I seemed a little better than the others in the technical stuff and the uphill section and struggled a bit on the straight fast sections. It seemed that I was always closing up a gap.
With one to go, I nailed the climb section to close the gap and passed 3rd place over the barriers on the run. I blasted through the off camber turns and started closing in on #2. In the end, it was good for 3rd. First time on the podium at this event. It was nice.