Woke up to a perfect day for some cross racing; warm(ish) and muddy. I wasn't too sure how mud factor would play out because I had never done a cross race in the mud before, I guess it went alright.
Same start to the day, only I arrived at De Cal's a little earlier and we got smaller coffees, loaded up the SUV and we were off. Got to Kelso with plenty of time to get ready and cruise around for a bit, we hopped on Saturday's course and followed the tracks, I was first to crash then De Cal went down. Cruised around some more and got lined up front row on the outside, I had joked before that I wanted the hole shot, but then you're front row and there's nothing in your way it seems very possible. GO, nailed the start and was even with Chown, he could have been agressive and been first out of the corner but he told me to go so I went for it and started hammering up the climb in the lead. It didn't take long for him and Hughes to come flying by.
From there it was just moving backwards until I found a comfortable pace, then I realised that it was a one hour race, there is no comfortable pace! That's the whole point. Oh yeah, and De Cal motivating me to grab his wheel after he had dropped me helped as well. So the second paved climb I attacked but only Kevin Black stuck with me, not what I wanted, but no big deal. We kept hammering and next thing I knew I was in a train with Kevin and Marco Li and we were catching Peter Morse, we made contact on the first paved climb but by the second one he was gone.
That brings us to about 3 to go, there's a soupy sweeping left hand bend at the top of the course around a pavillion, there was nothing too hard about it but I started taking a few more risks to hang with Li and Black so I can attack them on one of the climbs and hopefully get away. I was taking the turn relatively quick and down I went, head first to the ground, good thing it was soft mud or I might have knocked myself out. Instinct is to grab your bike and go and figure it all out when the dust settles, the only thing wrong was that I was a little dizzy and didn't realise that I was kicking about a foot away from where my pedal was to clip in.
The rest of the race was spent chassing but no matter how hard I went it seemed like they just kept pulling away. Crossed the line in 8th, not bad, 6th would have been better but I was trying to ride beyond my ability to hang with them and crashed, sometimes she doesn't go. Even though I was climbing better than them I was just too inefficient around the stakes and using up too much energy blasting out of every corner just to try and hang on.
Big thanks to De Cal's rents for the drive and professional number pinning. And to everyone who stayed and cheered us on through the greassy course, especially Rob Watt who had one hell of a sprint racing me up the first paved climb on the last lap, that's exactly what I needed.
Huge props to Chown for owning the race right from the start, should be a good time chassing him around Firemen's Park tonight.