The first weekend of the Texas cyclocross season kicked off in San Antonio with absolutely beautiful weather. Perfectly clear Texas skys, temps in the 70s, and light winds. Both courses were fairly dry despite all the recent rain.
Saturday's race was held at the San Antonio Police Academy. The course was a little rough but had a good flow to it.
The red lines on the right side is the start point. We lined up and I managed a good position on the front row. The whistle blew and I opened a strong sprint and was second wheel once we entered the course. My riding skills weren't very good though. I cross like a roadie on a cross bike, not a true cross rider. There was a series of off camber sections up on the berm at the top side of the course. These were my undoing and I lost 3 spots our first time through them. I started to settle in but on the second lap as I went over the barriers my chain fell off due to poor placement of my chain guard. I got the chain back on but lost 2 more places. I hammered it to try to regain the spots I lost and going through the berm section I wiped out on the third off camber section and dropped my chain again. A group of 3 guys caught me here, a large guy in a black kit, a guy in a Bicycle Heaven kit, and Zack Gonzalez. As we rode I figured out I could open a gap when I wanted and I was faster over the barriers but any time I gained I gave back every time we went through the off camber sections on the berms. These attacks did manage to dislodge Bicycle Heavan but Zack and Black Kit were still there. The next to last lap Zack attacked on the berm section and I couldn't get around Black Kit to go with him. Going through the barriers entering the bell lap I attacked Black Kit and opened a good gap. The last time I went through the off camber berms I took it very conservative and managed to maintain a small gap on Black Kit. Knowing I was faster through the rest of the course I tried to power down to catch Zack but was unable to catch him. 9th place overall in a field of about 30. It was fun and I know it will get better as I find some cross skills.
Sunday's race was the same venue as last year's state championship and is a great course. It is at Padre Park on the river and flows beautifully.
I lined up in the front row again because after the start it is single track for a while and is very hard to pass. The whistle blew and I sprinted well and entered the course 2nd wheel for the 2nd straight day. I was flowing well and the field was stringing out. The course dropped down to the river twice with steep climbs back up. During the pre-race ride I decided it would be better to run up the steep climbs as opposed to trying to ride them and get stuck part way up. We went down the first drop and I was a little rough in my dismount and dropped the chain. Guess I still don't have it dialed in. I managed to get it back on, lost 3 places, but was still in good position as we dropped down to the river for the second part. As we approached the steep climb up I decided to change my plan on the fly and try to ride it in a gamble to make up some places. As I got near the top and tried to turn left with the course my front tire rolled off the rim tearing the valve stem from the tire. The tire instantly went flat and I went down. I was to far from the wheel pit to have a chance at making a change and getting back into the race so I called it a day.
It was very disappointing but I'll glue on a new tire and try again next week.