Written by Matt DeMeis
Saturday, 26 November 2005 00:00
Team Bikeman -
With 3" of snow and lots of icy patches it was a tricky track to race. I have to admit when I first got to the race I was real nervous it was going to be a horror show for me. I slapped on the fat 34 Griffos and ran them nice and soft to grip the choppy/slick terrain. Turned out to be the perfect choice, on to the race.
Starts are still a big traffic jam for me having to start so far back so the first lap was spent getting used to the bike swimming on the snow and settling in to a groove. After that I got used to riding the stuff and started pushing it. The low pressure made the bike incredibly comfortable on the rough stuff and I was able to ride a lot of the cambers where people were sliding out and loosing time. After talking with Big Al before the race about the nuances of the course and how to get the most time out of people I started the process of working my way up through the field by hammering as hard as I could across the flats, cambers and anywhere you could go straight then braking super hard and taking the turns slow and smooth. No mistakes was the order of the day. It worked pretty good. I slid out a bunch of times but who didn't? I was able to work my way up to 13th but lost the sprint for that spot after I lead out Ryan O'Connor into the dead flat start finish. I almost held it but he nipped me by 1/4 of a bike length at the line. D'oh! 14th place is sweet for me though. I'll take it!
Sterling ended up being one of the most fun races yet for me. I was less cold than at Gloucester with more snow, go figure! 2 more weekends to go before we put the lid on the box for this year. I'm now hoping for snow at nats. The whole cross team seems to be getting faster every week. Big Al took 9th in the Elite Masters 35+ and Ryan was on the podium in 3rd and Matt H was 6th in the Killer B's. I think we're gonna finish this one up strong.