This past weekend saw Sirena and myself participate in the opening weekend of the Fall NC Cyclocross races in the Raleigh area. Saturday's race was in Cary, NC at Bond Park and Sunday's race was in Raleigh at Lions Park.
Saturday's course was technical and had a crazy off-camber hill in which you rode halfway down, had a 90-degree uphill turn and dismount to run-up this steep hill. At the top of the hill there was a 180-degree turn to the right and you had to remount your bike while descending down this steep hill. The bottom of the hill had a 90-degree left-hand turn...you had to SLOW DOWN to make it. Well, the rain held off until my race...more on that later. Sirena raced the women's CX4 race and took home 4th! She was super-strong and stayed up except for one crash at the nasty hill (oh, she did crash and do a split in warm-ups though). My race (the men's CX4) saw 60+ racers line up and the the sky opened up. It began raining at the start line and did not let up until after the race. It was muddy, nasty, and downright scary. The race was shortened due to lightning. That retarded hill saw me crash over and over. I crashed a total of 6 times during that race. A dude's front-wheel got caught in-between my chainring and fork. Needless to say I finished midpack or worse:(
Sunday's race was much more roadie-friendly and had lots of turns and long stretches. The entire backside was uphill. Sirena finished a strong 6th out of 15+ women. She stayed up the entire time and rode well. My race had 60+ again and I got lined up at the back of the group at the start line...a no-no in cyclocross. After an uphill start it went into a woods section that was single-file. The leaders were gone after the start! I started at the back and worked my way up to the front third by the end. I had a much better race and stayed up. I think I might adopt the strategy of starting at the back and seeing how many people I can pass...a lot more fun than the craziness of being at the front of a cross race.
Anyway...next weekend is Boone!