Monday, September 21, 2009

Hermann Cross Under the Lights

CX Season has started with a BANG! Probably hardest race of the year is race numero uno. I hooked a ride up with the Bolivar boys so I got to enjoy Hermann for 5.5 hours before I raced. Any of you that follow me on Twitter or Face book know this from the 4 million updates. All in all a great race, great atmoshphere.

Jeff Yielding did a great job setting up the course. A grass crit plain & simple. If I would have wrote this yesterday I would have had a different opinion but after thinking on it another 24 hrs I've decided short lap grass crits are probably the future of grassroots CX. Why would a 3:00 min lap be the future you ask? Excitement for the fans plain & simple. They get to see the racers 19x in the case of the Cat 1/2 race. That's a lot of entertainment value.

The highlight of the course had to be the stairs. Not the full blown misery fest that has been used in the past. Just half way up to the beer tent. The folks in the beer tent went all out & should be commended. Every lap was something different. I had beer poured on me one lap. Sparklers lit on several. Constant screaming, yelling, & yes cowbells. The fans at the top were great. The fans on the back section by the tennis courts were great too. They camped out next to a wicked cool flowing grass section offering beer hand ups.

With a goal of staying on the lead lap I passed on beer hand ups this year. Focus is what I had to do. I got a horrible start & pissed away my 2nd row call up & paid for it for 4 laps. Once things thinned out I was able to grab back some time & worked myself in to a good group picking off fast starters. I wish I would have gotten a better start since I felt really good the whole race. I took a sprint for 12th & just barely stayed on the lead lap. Mission accomplished. Take that Mr. Johnson!

Tire selection was Challenge Grifo 32's @ 30psi. I did a lap or two warming up on the Grifo File treads but decided to switch to knobs for the race for the extra traction coming out of all the grass turns.
I stole this pic from TK's blog. Figured it was fitting since I rode with him for 15 laps. Notice my cool cx gloves? I got the idea from Tim Johnson.

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