It was another good turnout for Team Horst Sports. We were represented in the Men’s 4/5 race by Randall Dutton. In the Cub Juniors 9-12 year old race, Sean Rourke led the way in 6th place with another impressive ride. Shepard Livingston, Lars Roti, and Nate Summers all had a good race. There were 28 kids in the Cub Juniors race. It was the second largest field of the day. Only the Men’s 4/5 race was larger. In the Masters 50+ race, Pat Cunningham was 5th and Tom Ricardi was 7th.
I did the Masters 40+ race with Wade Summers and Art Roti. I came close to scoring my second podium finish in eight days, but I blew it on the last lap, allowing Laurence Merling to lead through the final corners thinking I could get past him on the finishing stretch of asphalt. It was not a tactical finish, but rather an all out lap. We took turns pulling in an effort to stay in front of Jeremy Brazeal and Stan Lezon, who weren’t far behind. We went all out and our last lap (6:52) and it was the fastest one clocked for all Masters riders in the six lap race.
Laurence led me through the barriers and then past the pit. I never got around him and he finished one second in front of me. Split seconds matter at that point in the race when you are on the rivet. I made an error about 1/4 mile from the finish after we came through the pit. There was a sequence of tight turns and in my hypoxic state, I took one too hard, and ended up off the groove and in some loose leaves and brush. I had to chase and close a three-second gap before the final few turns. I never had a chance to come around him and it was game over.
I banged my bars is frustration, but the reality is I probably wouldn’t have had a chance to sprint for third if Tim Ratta hadn’t flatted on the second lap just after we came through the pit. He had to run his bike a long way to get back to the pit (you aren’t permitted to go backwards on the course), and likely would have finished in the top three. As it turned out, Brian Girard and Joe Kubisek pulled away from us after three laps. Laurence and I couldn’t close the gap. Those guys are so strong.
Wade and Art had good races too. We all suffered in the wind on the flat and fast course. This race has more wide open riding and we averaged more than 15 miles per hour over the course of the 43 minute race.
Debbie and our daughter joined us and she ended up doing the Kids Fun Race, which netted her a water bottle full of candy. Halloween wasn’t even a week ago and she is stocking up again.
I’m sending a shout out to cousin Lucas Smallidge, who co-led the Men’s 3/4 race for five laps. He came so close to the win, but it looks like he either had an incident on the last lap, or just faded as he finished second to Anson Ross, who he matched lap times with up until the last go round the course.
Thanks to the volunteers from CCAP and Team 26 for putting on another good event. Next up is the Verge Northampton International Cyclocross race weekend in Massachusetts. Horst Engineering will have a big presence at the event. Come visit us at the expo where we will show off our Horst Spikes product line.