The third race of the NC Cyclocross Fall Series was this Sunday in Boone, NC at Hawsnest Ski Resort. Literally, it is at an old golf course and you are racing on the side of the moutain. It was typical Boone weather...cold, misty, foggy, and there was MUD EVERYWHERE. It had rained for two straight days and I have never seen anything as muddy as this. Picture any video clip of the Oregon cross scene and you would have this race. The course was very challening and then throw in the mud and you have a race of survival. The course had long straights with deep mud and standing water. There were a lot of short step hills, an off-camber hill that was not really rideable, and a run-up that was very muddy and slick. There was one barriers section, a sand pit, and lots of fans screaming at you when you didn't make it up the hill.
Sirena raced the women's CX4 race and had around 15 racers (I think). She got the hole shot and held it to the barriers. However, she came into the barriers with too much speed and hit the deck dismounting. She regrouped and was 8th after the first lap. She reeled in racers and had moved up to 4th entering the last lap. Sirena was able to ride many of the muddy areas others weren't. The course was very much a power course. On the final run-up she had moved to 3rd. Coming down the final straight she could see 2nd but the ugly, thick mud reared up and snagged her. She crossed the line 4th!
I raced the men's CX4 and we went last. The course was torn up by then and the mud was getting worse. There were around 35+ racers in my group. I lined up near the back and got a bad start. A couple of racers went down in front of me and I had to dismount and run the first straight. I had a good opening lap and had moved up to around 20th. On the second lap I began to notice mud collecting on my brakes/wheels/tires. I had really bad tires for muddy conditions. They are knobby and collect mud. At the start of the final lap I had to stop twice to clean off mud from my wheels. Entering the final lap I had moved up to 15th. I had to stop again and 3-5 racers passed me. I was having a real hard time getting clipped in as well. Coming down the last straight my bike LOCKED UP! I could not pedal it. I had to get off my bike and run/walk to the finish line. Travis from Clemmons Bike Shop passed me! We have good battles in cross and he got me today. I have never ridden in anything like that!
Next weekend is Charlotte/Salisbury.