The big day, States.
I got there too early but got to see both Harold’s kids win their first State Championships.
After having too much time initially I was in a hurry to warm up before the race. I had a goal of top 10 but there would be 2-3 guys who would normally make that really tough plus other guys.
After starting poorly at State for the past two years I was ready and got the start I wanted at 7th or 8th. All was well but the pace was hot and I couldn’t really hold the wheel in front of me throughout the first lap. We expected a big group with the long straights but Winkler was serious and put the heat on early.
At the start of the second lap I had Miller’s wheel but couldn’t hold it after that Hall and Cassan came by putting me in tenth. Then in the second chicane coming back from the far south east corner a small rock sliced my rear tire and I flatted. I had a long run and am still sore from running that short distance but made it to the pits after 24 guys passed me. Once on my other bike I realized for the first time that I would get a shot at repassing those guys. I had a good points margin on Todd who was behind me in 8th in the season long Cross Cup points series but every guy I could pass might be the difference that could keep me in the 7th place I wanted.
At first it was easier to catch and pass guys but then the gaps got bigger and the racers I caught were faster. I gave it everything and on the last lap coming back to the west I could see a farmiliar jersey with Joe Paulson in front of me. I closed slowly but he saw me and didn’t let me close it down all the way. Good work Joe!
After crossing the line there were a lot of guys catching their breath so I knew I was still pretty far back and figured I hadn’t done enough to hold 7th in points. However it turned out that Todd didn’t have the best day either and I was only 9 spots behind him in 22nd. I had caught half the guys who passed me. Ironically I could have Dnf’d and still had enough the points to hold 7th in the Cross Cup competition. However I’m so fortunate to have not known that and think I was racing for critical places.
I’ve had great luck with not having mechanicals in races all season and getting very few flat for years so I can’t be too unhappy about getting a rare one. I would have like to have seen how I would finish. Would I have gotten the top ten I wanted? Would I have faded? I’ll never know how the rest of the race would have unfolded and if that’s my only disappointment I’ll take it. Maybe I just felt fortune for all the good Cross in the season.
Using the video I figured out that I lost 1:30 running compared to riding the same section the lap before. IF I had finished 1:30 further up I would have been in 11th.
Shawn Lortie did great to get second place. I know he’d like to have won it but he still had a dream season with a bunch of wins and 2nd at states.
John also did exceptionally well to get 6th after his big crash two weeks ago and not doing great in last weekends races. The whole Rally Sport team, guys who where here and not here today were great this season. I’m honored to be a part of such a high quality group of racers.
Personally I have a lot to be happy about.
I did 16 races
Only one in-race mechanical.
Maybe 2 minor crashes all year.
No big injuries, No real colds all season. I know too many people with injuries or health issues right now, I’m thankful to be healthy.
The team crushed 45+ Open. I got a 4th and a pair of 5th place finishes while getting stronger as the season went on for the first time.
Even with all that good stuff, Unquestionable the brightest part were all the people I get to race with. Thank you.