12/7/08…”P’Burg Riverfront Cross”

(Photo by Anthony Skorochod)

(Photo by Anthony Skorochod)

P’Burg!! Firts let me say that this is one of my favorite courses of the season and I was very much looking forward to this event. Previous to this, I was sitting in 2nd overall for the NJBA CX Cup behind Gary LaSala. The gap to him was a scant 26 points, a win here would get me the cup with 4 points to spare. Needless to say, I felt some pressure. Fast forward to the race. The course was perfect and very fast. Some of the corners and roots were a little slick, which gave me the edge. I started on the front row and sat a few wheels back for the first couple corners. Coming onto the pavement section I made my move to go to the front. I then overcooked the turn coming off the pavement and went into the tape and bottomed out my tires on some roots. I jump back on course and only lost a few spots so I drop the hammer to get back on, my rear end felt a little loose, and then I realized I was riding on my rim. CRAP!! We were maybe 1/4 of a lap into it. I ran a pretty long way to get into the pit and went straight off the back of the pack by the time I got there. I stole my WWCX teammates wheel off his pit bike and got my bike rolling again. At this point I was about 1/2 lap off the back of the field. I seriously wanted to throw my bike but I knew I needed to get any points I could get for the overall cup. I rode on. I pushed as hard as I possibly could, standing and sprinting for a good portion of each lap. It took me the better part of 2 laps to make contact with the last place guy in the field. Once I got there I just kept looking ahead to the next guy and keeping full gas until I caught them. I felt like I was going to throw up the entire time, I’ve never pushed that hard in all my life. So even though I was making up time and picking up places, it’s the first time I wished the race was longer!! I only made it up to 14th place by the end. I was pretty sure I gave up a podium spot in the overall. Some quick math after the results and it seems like I’ll still manage to keep 2nd overall, we’ll see when the official results come out. So even though I didn’t place well and had a mechanical, I still really enjoyed this course. I was teetering on the edge both fitness and traction-wise the entire time, and there was a great support crew that were keeping me motivated to pick off anyone and everyone I could!!

Steep run-up!! (Photo by Anthony Skorochod)

Steep run-up!! (Photo by Anthony Skorochod)

Now it’s time for the off-season, and just in time!! See you out there on the trails…

-Jim.

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