if you survive it.
LaLaLloyd took Round 2 of the NCNCA Cup presented by Sycip. She shot off the front from the gun and kept the throttle on a fair bit on a day you know she had to have some fatigue in her legs. Saturday she raced with the Elite Men down at the CCCX sufferfest ... oy, what a kill machine that course was ... Rachel was solid in the top 15 most the day against the boys, but a small lap miscalculation had the men doing 70 minutes and that was just too much for her - so she pulled out and huddled in a ball of ouch for awhile before driving back Marin-way with DJ Snead and Barbarella.
Speaking of the Barb, CCCX was another good sign that the Queen of the Galaxy is fighting her way back into world caliber form. For the first time in awhile, we were able to see her ride off the front of a race and test herself against the rigors of solo pedaling. Flying lone star in a cross race is such a mental test ... harder than being off the front in a crit or road race. In cross, you've got too many thousands of moments per second when your body screams for a stop to the pain, a million pleas, silent demandss from every cell ... to rest.
but you can't.
At CCCX there was a TON of uphill road pedaling and Barb was looking smooth and powerful off the front. But behind, CalGiant's Josie Beggs and HRS RockLobster's Stella Carey joined efforts and were eventually able to reel in Howe. With just over a lap to go, Stellar put in a hit on the road climb to try and whip away from the other two riders, shoving Beggs into a bit of bother near the top of the climb. But, somewhere in the swishy slopes of the single-track backside, Beggs would reconnect in a rush and we would be witness to the best finish yet of our cross season.
Stellar muscled her way into the lead as they dove into the final few hundred meters of single track. She erupted out of the trees and pushed it through the final two tight, duffy turns before the finish, giving the crowd a nice little fist pump as she won the race. Howe was a hair behind, with Beggs just nipped out but still taking home cash from the CCCX crew.
Great race. GREAT race.
and i don't know if you'll notice in the pic above ... but that is, in fact, the one and only Gina Hall straddling a cross bike again. Talk about a day of royalty returned ...
The men's field saw Mark Noble take another Elite event as he was able to outsprint Lobsters Wyandt and O'dell. Big Berry Robinson was 4th, keeping him on top of the CCCX Series leaderboard, but being hounded by za'Wolf and O'dawg.
In the NCNCA Cup Series, DJ Snead put a stamp on his lead by taking the Sacto stop on Sunday. The Hagen Park course is definitely a keeper, in my book. It's a very, very tough circuit that offered no rest whatsoever. Well, that's not true ... i went poking over the barrier sections as slowly as possible to try and eek out a few seconds of recovery. Because out on the course, it was full throttle action as you bumped and humped over grassy knolls and barbaricly evil green carpets.
The Elite Men's race was all Lobster, taking 4 out of the top 5, with only the Falconer steeling himself into 4th. When Cameron is on, he's one hell of a pedaler. He hung with Snead and Wyandt most the race, but fell off late and was just nipped by a wicked sprint from O'dell.
I was 5th, riding with more than a little grimace as my fitness and collarbone both were asking me what the f$%k i was doing out there. We were in a small group with Arete's Mack Chew, the two uber-juniors from Spine Kaiser and Brooks, Clif Bar's Lance Doherty, and young Matt Obregon out of Sacto.
It was a good crew to ride with and luckily we didn't have any real mechanicals to slop us around (easier day for the RockLobster team wrench, Rye Bontrager).
Kaiser did have a little bobble on one of the turns and Doherty was cool enough to ask us to slow a bit for him to get back on. It took all of 6 seconds for Cody to re-join, but it was still a very classy thing for the guy to do. It must be the Clif Bars that chill somebody out like that.
Anway, the turnout for Round 2 was very good and the darkOneMaile produced a good venue and challenging course. I'm looking forward to seeing how Round 3 at Surf City will change things up in The Cup standings. Tom Feix looks in control in the 45's. Colleen Wanty, Kathleen Hannon and Sarah Maile are all close to the podium for the Elite Women. The 35 A's sees a tight battle brewing between Myall, Kammeyer, Coates, and Maile. And there's more ... but i'm out of time for postings.
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Monday, October 15, 2007
if you survive it.