I was pleased with my effort at the Midnight Ride of Cyclocross in Lancaster, Massachusetts. The Wednesday night race kicked off the “Holy Week” of Cyclocross in New England. I’m racing five of the next 10 days including Saturday and Sunday at the KMC Cross Fest, next Wednesday at the Night Weasels Cometh, and the following Saturday at Mansfield Hollow.
These weeknight races are viciously hard and to make matters even more challenging, I did the Elite race, which didn’t start until 8:00 P.M. when it was pitch black. They had some lights on the course, but some of the corners were sketchy.
I’m only three days removed from the Vermont 50, which hammered my legs. I’m definitely on form right now. The only ill effects from VT50 were my sore left arm and my stiff lower back. My legs were pretty good until the last lap, when I just ran out of gas.
I was as high as 30th or so after a decent start, but lost ground in the second half of the race, particularly on the second to last lap when I stunk it up. I was fried and gave up several spots, including two on the final half lap, and finished 41st. One of those was to my teammate, Matt Domnarski, who hunted me down.
This was mostly a Massachusetts crowd, though my friend, Kate Northcott, came from New Hampshire (racing for West Hill Shop in Putney) and won the women’s race. Another teammate, Arthur Roti, did the 2/3/4 race at 6:00 P.M. I would have liked to race with him, but when I registered, I chose the late race, which had a pretty strong field.
I was happy to not get lapped by Justin Lindine, who took the win. He wasn’t even close to lapping me, which was good. I was comfortably able to complete the race, covering a fast 11.1 miles in 50:28. I was bummed that I forgot to wear my heart rate monitor chest strap, because my pulse was through the roof. It would have been fun to check out those stats on Strava. We were wearing chips, so my lap times were captured:
There was a lot of congestion on the first lap, and we started a bit behind the start/finish line, hence the slower time.
A few times during the race, I pushed way too hard, and totally lost my technique. Those bobbles are costly in cyclocross, and sometimes, you have to just back off if you want to stay on your bike.