Verge Northampton International Cyclocross
by John Sumner • November 13, 2018
After a 1500 mile week on the road between Maine to Niagara Falls, most sane folks would go home to rest and recover. Not me. I was up at 4:30 Saturday and drove to NoHo for the Masters 40+ race under sunny skies and low forties. The torrential downpour the night before left several sections of this course on par with 99% of the CX races I have entered this season, super muddy including ankle deep sticky mud sections.
With a plan to chase points, I realized I would need a superhuman effort to move to at least the upper 30% to actually drop my points from this race.
So there I was, again, in the back 25% and already down a solid 40 seconds before the first grassy wide left-hand turn. The course was similar to how it has been over the past decade. Fast, easy sandpit, two climbs, barriers, bumpy and muddy upper section and fun grassy fast sweeping turns in the lower field. We also had the benefit/disadvantage of a strong tailwind/headwind on the long sections at the end/beginning of the race. I wound up ahead of about twenty guys out of eighty-ish.I was happy USADA did not randomly draw my number, not that I have anything to hide.
I drove back to Maine, 4 hours. Somewhere between Biddeford and Pownal, I decided it a great idea to repeat in the AM and go back for more. This time was DFL to start. I took the inside line into turn one and lost all gains made, back to DFL. I seriously had to convince myself not to hit the brakes, climb over the course tape to head home to fix my renters' water pump. In the end, I was able to pass ten guys and was chasing two guys who had a 6 second gap on me, that was fun. Also, I was not last or lapped.
Neither day helped me drop my points lower than 433. That is okay because I dedicate this race weekend to those who served our country. Thank you all for your service, you are not forgotten and will always be appreciated!