The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Cornwall Cyclocross

Objective 1: Don't get off-course. Check!
Objective 2: Don't be last. Check!
PlaceBibNameTeamTimeGapCategoryLap 1Lap 2Lap 3Lap 4Lap 5Lap 6
64443BARNES, Philindependent0:57:25-1 lapMB14:3510:5310:3210:4110:44-
64/87 General Classification, 33/39 Masters Men B.

Race Summary:
I didn't get much chance to warm up. We just finished setting the course up with 30 minutes to spare, and by the time we were changed and pinned up, there was only enough time for about two-thirds of a practice loop. There was a decent sized crowd for the first race, about as many as previous years, I self-seeded close to the back. The horn sounded, and I took the first lap  at a leisurely pace.

The loop was more-or-less the same as previous years, but with a few spicy technical sections. I upped the effort for the second lap, and started passing a few people. My heart felt like it was in my throat from this lap forwards. On the big hill run-up by the marina, I lost my chain on the re-mount, and fumbled like an idiot for what seemed like an eternity. The five or six people I had busted my butt off to pass, all passed my back.

Lap three was my fastest, and by now I was warmed up, and feeling confident about the loop. I had a good idea where the best line was. My breathing was out of control, but I figured there's probably only 20 more minutes of pain left to go.  I was caught by the leaders midway through lap 4. There was a fast group of about 3 off the front. It took a while after that for the rest to reel me in.

Bell lap. The second most appreciated sentence in Cyclocross is "This is your Last Lap". Honestly, it was somewhat bitter sweet. I was proud that I was "fast" enough to not be totally lapped, and forced to finish early; but dam: Another Lap!!!

The last lap, I was totally spent. I lolly-gagged a bit. On the twisty downward section near the marina, I hit the deck hard. A real Zinger went through my elbow. I momentarily had a vision of my arm in a cast, unable to run the upcoming marathon... adrenaline kept me going, and somehow I was remounted and continuing on (turns out the elbow thing was a none issue - I'm totally fine). About 6 more minutes of pain, and then finally, the MOST appreciated sentence in Cyclocross.... "443... you're done!".

A good race. I'm putting these nuggets in here so when I read this next year, I'll remember them.
1) Your bike will go where you look. Don't look at the obstacle, look past it.
2) Ride the flat parts faster. Try the big ring.
3) It's just grass, so what if you fall.
4) Start a bit further up. Let the momentum of the pack get you going faster.
5) Get enough of a warm up in!
When I'm hurting, I smile. Odd.
(Photo by: Paul Couture)
This picture just doesn't do justice to how steep this hill felt. Especially on the last lap.
(Photo by: An Vo)
Andrew and his Go-Pro. Unfortunately, he didn't have it strapped down tight enough, so the whole footage is very jiggly.
(Photo by: An Vo)