It was a decently cold morning to race. Fall is definitely here as I had frost on my truck window this morning. The West Chester Cross race is one of my favorites. I would say it is tied with Crossasaurus Awesome as my favorite cross courses in the PACX series. There is never anything too technical at the West Chester race but you do have to dismount twice; once on a run up and once over the barriers. The course just flows very well. It has just enough elevation to sap your legs in certain areas and then some really fun flowing areas in the grass for a slight recovery. I’m not a big fan of courses that have a large amount of 90 degree turns or a massive amount of climbing. I like courses that flow well and West Chester flows beautifully. Now for the race report.
We had three racers from Stoudts Brewery/JB Mountain Bikes here at West Chester. Nathan Werner raced in the CAT 4/5 first thing in the morning. He stayed in the top two during the first lap and made a commanding attack during the end of lap 1.
He then extended his lead for the next 3 laps each time. Nathan commanded a dominating 1st place in the CAT 4/5’s. As you can see in the video below, there was no one behind him.
It looks like some of our other teammates have some competition in the 4/5 PACX series.
The Masters 35+ race was fast as always. I decided to upgrade to CAT 3 this year and race with faster people after spending two years in the 4/5 groups. It is easier to race in a smaller group in some aspects but harder because there are some really fast dudes in the master’s races. To give you an example, I finished 12th in the 35+ race and only 5 seconds slower than Nathan did who won the 4/5 race. Yep, these Master’s Racers are fast!
I had a bad start (As you can see in the video)
I ended up near the back of the pack watching the leaders slip away. (I really need to work on my starts). My goal was to not blow myself up on the first lap and gradually increase my times on each lap. I managed to do that and started to pull back Matthew Morrison from SRAM Factory East. It was all planned out in my head, how I was going to catch his wheel after we entered the last lap and see if I could pass him in to the finish. That’s the great thing about cross racing, you can still have a race with the people around you even if you are not in the lead. Well, my planned attack never happened. The officials screwed up the bell lap. (I have the video below of a non bell lap)
I remember passing the officials at the finish line and seeing we had three laps to go. When I came around for what I thought was going to be the bell lap, I was finishing my final lap. I never received a bell lap. Never heard the ringing bell as I passed declaring that there was one lap to go. Now, I placed 12th which isn’t a big deal at all. However, I did hear one of the 55+ racers say it completely screwed up his planned attack on the bell lap for 1st place. I would be pissed if I was in contention for a higher podium spot.
That was a first for me. I never had a non bell lap before and felt a little let down when we rolled through and were informed that the race was over. It was just kind of deflating. This doesn’t take away from the fact that West Chester is still an awesome course. I just never had such a deflated race before with the SURPRISE, that was your last lap and its over.
That’s it folks. I hope you enjoyed some of the video. I get to race my bike, race for a great team with Stoudts Brewery/JB Mountain Bikes, and get to race again next week at Crossasaurus Awesome. I hope to see you all out there and remember that my team’s race is coming up.
Stoudts Brewery/JB Mountain Bikes puts on a cyclocross race November 1st. This course is going to be new and challenging this year. If we get some rain, it will be the nearest thing to a Belgian course you will ever see on the east coast.
Remember Cross Racers, when the weather starts to become adverse, embrace the suck!