Sunday was the last cross race of the season for me, and it was also the State Championship race. I've rambled enough about the "lameness" of putting on a category at a state championship race, but arbitrarily deciding that it isn't worthy of official state championship designation - even though the category has been in the race the last 4 years now... so I won't bore you again.
I was happy that the weather was the opposite of traditional cross weather. Since I was racing only one time, I even hesitated filling out the form, thinking maybe I should register for the Open race, just so I could get the 15 extra minutes of racing in. It seemed a shame to not have anymore races for the year, with the weather being so nice! But I signed up for the single speed race. All the friends I bumped into before I even had my bike off the car were raving about the awesome course, so I was anxious to check it out.
Sure enough, the course was pretty solid. Good grassy sections, lots of nice technical turns and power sections, bumps without being too bumpy, a great off-camber entrance to the primary run-up, sand pit, and about 20 more turns on top of all that. I had a decent start, and just floated at the front, to see who was going to be willing to lead it... the legs felt good... just 150 meters in, Kevin looked over, said, "Let's go". I attacked as hard as I could, nearly over-shooting turn one. I was anxious to get into the traffic that the back of the Cat3 field causes, since it always increases the danger, and makes all kinds of confusion for our race, as it's hard to keep track of everyone when it gets crowded... or in the inevitable first lap crashes. By turn two we were already upon the back of the Cat3 field, and shot past 8 of them in the hairpin. I kept it drilled trying to pass at any given chance and put space between myself and the others.
It's such an awesome thing when all the cylinders are firing, and the legs will do anything you ask of them; "Hey legs, let's go pass that next guy."
"Hey brain, don't be a pansy... let's go pass the next THREE guys!"
It was a great course for me, where you could tick off an extra second or two, in all these different little techie bits. Especially once the field opened up a bit, so I could have clear run at things. And extra thanks to Bil shouting encouragement and time splits, and Elgee for "being in my head" and cheering me along. At the end I had a nice cushion... and would have been happy to keep riding!
You can't ask for more than finishing the year off with a win... and taking home a tasty six-pack of SingleTrack Copper Ale from the awesome guys at Boulder Beer.
Only 25 days until the first race of 2009...