Monday, October 26, 2009

Skyview CX -- Got the first one out of the way...

Nate Woodman (Monkey Wrench Cycles/Ibis) takes the high road over the barriers. He was the only one taking this road. His effort earned him third place in the Cat 1/2/3 race Saturday. Nice race Nate!

It was a surprisingly un-messy weekend up in Norfolk at the Skyview Cyclocross Classic this past Saturday. After a couple inches of snow had fallen Thursday night, all expectations were that the course was going to be a sloppy mess, but that didn't turn out to be the case Saturday and it turned out to simply be soft and energy sucking. I made an interesting decision to race the 40 minute Cat 3/4 race at noon, then try to follow that up with the hour-long Cat 1/2/3 race at 3pm, after a 2+ hour break.

The Cat 3/4 podium -- My next race wouldn't end up so triumphantly... Photo: Elkhorn Valley Cycling Club

Let's just say I won't be trying that experiment again anytime soon. While the Cat 3 race went well (I took the win), I was totally unable to rally my legs again for the 1/2/3 race. It was immediately apparent that I didn't have anywhere near the leg power of the top five guys in the race, and it was almost an act of divine grace when my tubeless rear tire blew off the rim at the end of the first lap, as I got a little too aggressive on an off-camber left hand corner trying to make up time on one of the few sections of course I could actually ride well with weak legs.
One shot of me in the Cat 1/2/3 race. Photo

I could have walked around to the pit, grabbed my Fargo and continued on, but it would have just been adding insult to injury at that point. The highlight of my day had already passed... It was at the end of the Cat 3 race. I needed to just be happy with how I rode in that race and learn the lesson it taught me -- don't do two races in a day when I'm signed up for the A (1/2/3) race. It doesn't work...

But one thing that did work Saturday was my Salsa Chili Con Crosso. It was AWESOME! Man, I couldn't have asked for a better performing bike on the course Saturday. While some folks have made the jump to carbon on their 'cross machines, I'll let 'em have it. I'm stickin' with my Scandium race machine... It's light, efficient, handles great and rides exactly the way I want it to. To say that I'm happy with my new Chili is an understatement.
On the way to getting the victory in the Cat 3/4 race Saturday. Photo: Elkhorn Valley Cycling Club

The Chili has always been one of the best, most completely balanced frames in the Salsa line, and this year's frameset is no different... I've been fortunate enough to race some of the most reputable 'cross bikes in the world and this is hands down the best 'cross racing bike I've ever owned. Thank you to Jason Boucher, Salsa Cycles and the folks at Monkey Wrench Cycles for giving me the opportunity to race it this season.

Thanks also to the folks at the Elkhorn Valley Cycling Club for hosting us at Skyview Park and for putting on the race. It was well-run and a great race. Race director, John Downey did a great job and I really appreciate the effort everybody up there went to in order to put the event on and set up a good course for us to race on. Thank you very much!!

See the Elkhorn Valley photos here.

See Lucas Marshall's photos on Facebook (must be a friend of Lucas to view).


Guitar Ted said...

Congrats on the win and the lesson learned. That course looks like fun. And just for the record, Nate Woodman is a machine on those barriers. Amazing talent.

Harp said...

Nice race Matt. I tried to hang with at the beginning but you were laying down a blazing pace that I couldn't hold.

paxtoncoyote said...

Great job on your first cx race of the season! With any luck I'll be cheering you on (as well as my son) on Hooligan Hill next month, we're trying to line up a bike so we can get him down there & cut his teeth on cowbells.

GNAT said...

MG nice post and great result. Thanks for the shout out too.

MG said...

Thanks guys. I appreciate it. I'm hoping to be able to get up to speed for the As, at least the local As, in the next few weeks. I've been working pretty hard and I'm building some new tubular wheels -- my first set of tubulars ever -- so we'll see if that's the secret.

It's funny Guitar Ted, because back in the early to mid 2000s I was a barrier-hoppin' fool too, but a couple of fast, hard crashes quickly made me pretty gun shy, so I haven't been hopping them the past couple of seasons. Last season, the one time I tried to follow Nate through the barriers hopping them during warm-ups, I crashed hard and didn't end up racing. That sucked, so I've been running everything so far this season. Better safe than sorry... and I've got long legs.

Thanks for your kind comments, and for checkin' in, my brother!!

Hey Matt, I've got a Chili Con Crosso lined up for Lane to race in November when you're here, if he's still interested in racing it. It's my original CCC frameset that Kevin Murray is now using as his back-up bike. He said that as long as the juniors aren't racing at the same time as he's racing, Lane is cool to use it (and Kevin is extra, extra cool for letting him use it!!). Thanks Kevin!!

Harp, considering the amount of riding you've gotten in lately due to your work schedule, you were ridin' like a champ. Nice work brother. It was great to see you out there, and as always, fun to hang with you.

Jason, my brother... Thanks again for all the friendship and support. I really appreciate our conversations, our brainstorming and just the constant encouragement we give eachother. It makes a huge difference and I don't know if I'll ever be able to tell you how much that means to me. Just know that it's a lot.

Thanks again,