NCCX #10-11, Hendersonville, NC. The weather and course conditions were the most brutal of the 11 races to date. The first races on Saturday had it the least bad for the entire weekend. I raced at 9 am. The race ended up 3 laps and for sure it was pouring rain halfway thru the 2nd lap. For myself, and almost every other racer, there was no riding up any of the run-ups. If you could ride it, you would have gotten held up by somebody that got stuck in the run-up. So the field was slow and sloppy. After the 1st lap, almost everybody was going to finish were they were. For me, it was just a true suck fest. Bikes and riders were covered in mud. Hands and feet were freezing from the cold rain. Finished all 3 laps and did not get lapped. Finished 39th.
Luke had a very good race, but conditions still were horrible. He was in the lead junior for the 1st lap, then got caught by the 2 juniors that are leading the series. Luke and Matt Jones rode together for about ½ of the race. Luke took 3rd place.
Sunday’s race were a different story. The weather was clear and just slightly warmer. The course was absolute slop! My race ended up being only 2 laps because the going was so slow. I rode my mountain bike, to try to get more handling. It backfired because the larger tire, with small knobbies simply picked up mud in a very muddy woods section. My rear wheel was actually locked up with mud and sliding on the ground. It was only after I was able to get back on the bike and start rolling that the mud came flying off. I was not expecting that; lesson learned! Finished 39th.
For the series, I currently sit in 34th place out of 197 racers.
Luke and the other top 3 junior racers all had a bad day. The leader did not even race because he had torn a contact lens the night prior. There were a few other racers from TN and GA that were racing. They had a very good race. Luke had mechanicals at the start line, then had to switch from CX bike to Mountain bike, then back to CX just to complete the 2 lap race. I was in the pit pressure washing his bikes and getting them running so he could continue. Luke finished 6th.
He is currently in 3rd place in the series, only 2 points out of 2nd, but only 5 points in front of 4th. Every race counts!
Lesson learned is that if your bike is having issues, they will only get worse in sloppy race conditions!
Races #12 and #13 are in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, Jan. 4-5, 2014! Only 4 races left in the series!