Thankfully, I didn't have to do the drive alone. Picked up Scott S. to trek down for Sunday. Good thing about going down to the same venue location is that you don't have to worry about getting lost. When we got down, the course from yesterday was now today's parking lot. So I guess the course is going to be different.
Fate would have it that we parked basically next to Skip Medeiros and the crew from Scottee's Westport Bicycle. Skip and I battled all day yesterday with me taking the win and Skip pushing me all the way. We would end up spending a lot of time together during the race today.
Course was pretty different, although some of the sections were the same. A lot more twisty in between trees, with longer sand sections and shorter road sections, with a downhill finish. You can check out the course and the first lap of the 3/4 Masters from Mike Lowry's buttcam.
Doing the warmup, I couldn't figure out where I was going because part of the course from yesterday was run in the opposite direction today.
I registered early so I was on the front row again. I looked around to see who was where, and saw Skip who gave me a nod. The start was a little hairy in that we rocketed on road into a 180 degree turn left into another 180 degree right turn that went into the first sand section and first run-up. Getting into the sand in good position would be key. Since it was an open road start, I was able to be about 8th wheel going into the sand.
A common theme for the course was a little technical skills went a long way, especially on the sand. Drawing from my repeated viewing of cross races on cycling.tv, I felt pretty comfortable on the sand despite not having raced on it for all year in this form where it was actually rideable. I was able to ride past other guys in my group, hit the run-up with momentum, grab the bike by the down tube, shoulder, sprint, and remount into around first place.
The run-up was followed by a steep downhill onto the road and into a set of uphill barriers. I was now in the lead, with a group of three right behind: Roger Goulart (Scottee's), Matt Theodore (Cape Cod Cyclist/E-Caps), and Skip. Having two guys on another team was a little disconcerting, so I decided to really hit the gas on the power sections. I noticed that I had the sand dialed in better than the other in our group, so I used that as an opportunity to put in a gap, while they were able to rail the corners faster.
I was hoping to push the gap and the pace so that others would make mistakes by taking risks trying to catch up. This happened around a hairpin from dirt to pavement where Skip lost a wheel and slid out. This was right before the finish line and long road section. So, I went into time trial mode and hammered the biggest gear I had, almost overcooking the corner.
I had a pretty good gap going into the sand and into the run-up. On the remount, I spaced out and missed my f'ing saddle. In the process, my bike twists and slams into the dirt and I end up on the ground. Rule number 1: Do not lose focus!! I grab my bike and remount, only to notice my left shifter is now at a 45 degree angle on my handlebar from the 90 degrees it should be. Uh oh. And my left shifter is set up Euro style, meaning that it controls my back break. And I'm going into the steep downhill into barrier section.
I don't need to shift out of the big chain ring since I've been running that all day. But, the brakes could come in handy. A quick check shows they work, but I have to position my hand at 45 degrees to use them. Now I'm back into second or third place after the group caught up to me, and we have 2 laps to go. It's going to be a dog fight.
Roger goes in front on a fast section, so I'm thinking they're going to do the 1-2 on me. I am able to gap them again on the second sand section into the lead again. I'm holding the lead into the bell lap, trying to build my gap. The bike is holding together, although it is a bit awkward to brake. Into the barriers the last time, and Roger shoots past me like a rocket. After the race, he said he didn't hit the brakes. I guess not, because now I'm second.
Thinking about the rest of the course, I know I've been a lot faster on the sand, so I sit and wait, saving some energy. We hit the sand with me in second wheel, and I hammer it, riding up until the short hill. I notice out of my peripheral vision he had to dismount much earlier. So, I'm now back into first. I have to keep the pressure on.
I rail a corner a little wide and brake a stake. I go into the steep downhill uphill mulch pit, and my right foot clips a stake. I hear Richard Fries say "And Gary David baubles on the descent, but keeps it up right!!" I know Roger is on my tail pretty close, but there are not real good sections to pass me from here on out. I am trying to keep it fast but in control while he is trying to catch up. Keep the door closed on the inside into the turns, accelerate hard out. Repeat.
We hit the final turn onto the pavement and I have enough of a gap to now that he is not going to pass me. Richard Fries announces my back to back wins and I pump two fingers into the air. Matt takes third.
Best moment of the race (besides winning) was when I hear Richard announce that the Minuteman Road Club is leading the 3/4 Masters and the Cat 4 race, with Steve Wright earning the BadAss award for winning with a broken wrist that he did half way through the race. Unreal stud.
I was able to celebrate with my MRC team mates. Rob had a nasty cut on his knee. Steve a broken wrist. I had a few layers of skin taken off my shin by my back tire grinder on the missed dismount. But, we had two victories, which would turn into three when Tommy Gougen won his race, with Christina taking second in her race. A great performance by the MRC crew, which has now turned into some kind of cross team.
Here are the partial results:
1 Gary David (Minuteman Road Club) 32.41
2 Roger Goulart (Scottee's Westport Bicycle)
3 Matthew Theodore (Cape Cod Cyclist/E-Caps) 0.11
4 Chris Brown (Corner Cycle) 0.27
5 Mitchell Medeiros (Scottee's Westport Bicycle)*
6 Christopher Cyr (Bikeman.Com) 0.50
7 Jack Hayden (Essex County Velo) 1.08
8 Derek Griggs (Recycled Sports)* 1.10
9 Robert Carmen (Team International Bike Club, Boston) 1.28
10 James Paterson* 1.39