Boulder hosts a weekend of National standard cyclocross racing every year. The two events are the only time we have a full compliment of pro riders in town to race against, so it’s a great opportunity for me to test myself against the best. This year the races were scheduled early in the season. I was tempted to skip them; it would have fit with my plans after MTB season, and give me time to prepare for the rest of the season. But the opportunity was too good to miss, so I registered anyway and prepared to
Another reason I signed up was because I joined a new team for Cyclocross season. I’ll be riding for Boulder Cycle Sport this autumn. I’m still a proud member of Red Ace Organics for the Mountain Bike season, but BCS is a great community team that supports a lot of junior and developing riders. For this reason, I wanted to be a part of what they had going on.
The “US Open of Cyclocross” was at Boulder Reservoir on Saturday. I lined up 45th, rather detached from the result I may achieve at the end. I had a mediocre start, then moved up well through the middle of the race. At the halfway point, I found a group of four riders. It was a relief, but a couple mistakes dropped me back and I suffered alone til the finish. 19th place. A lot of good experience riding in a group in the sand of the reservoir. A rough intro to the season after racing a full hour and ten minutes.
The Boulder Cup on Sunday is the bigger race. It has more UCI points on the line which draws a couple extra fast people out of the woodwork. This race had a field of about 75, and I lined up 58th. A better start this time, and a course much more suited to my skills meant that I found a group to ride with about 15 minutes into the race. This saved me, as I felt good all the way to the end of the race. One mistake with a couple of laps to go saw me lying on the ground with my seat twisted. I lost a couple of places there, but it wasn’t catastrophic. I finished 18th – a much better race than Saturday, even through I only gained one extra position to show for it.
I’m glad I raced, even if I’m not on top form. It was interesting to see what I could lay down without having done any fierce interval sessions yet. From here I’ll be taking a couple of weeks off from racing to enjoy the autumnal weather, ride bikes with friends and refresh. I’ll then begin a reasonably strenuous race schedule in October, before backing off slightly and getting ready for Colorado State Champs in December.