I was pumped! I had my numbers pinned on (and then repinned on by Phil from Orbea Bikes), my chain lubed and derailleur fixed by Phil from Orbea Bikes, and had gotten a good warm up in. I had looked over what I could see of the course and was ready to race.
There I sat with fellow category four rides all around me, I thought to myself, “all of these guys seem like they’re done this before, and I hope I’m ready for this.” The tone went off and we all took off. Flying off the pavement start/finish section we rolled down a steep hill in to a flat and then an off camber straight. Going into the first real turn I was doing great.
Then came the off-camber section, successfully navigating it included unclipping one of my eggbeater pedals (that are amazing for cyclocross if you ask me) and one leg spinning while using the other one to balance. After that came a quick stair section where I shouldered my bike and sprinted up the the set, still hanging with everyone. Once I remounted after the stairs the problems began!
When I had unclipped from my pedals to dismount, my cleats on my Diadora shoes had spun so that it was almost impossible to turn my feet to the correct angle to clip back in. Up next, a big, very bumpy, hill and going down it unclipped in on a cyclocross bike with no suspension is not the easiest of tasks.
After the hill was a easy left handed turn but not being able to clip in hurt my pedaling power and I lost a couple of positions. In the technical section through the trees I lost a few more positions not being able to sprint out the turns and it really hurt me going up an insanely steep hill on the backside of the course. Through the sand section I made up some positions with my dismount ability and foot sprinting ability.
So three laps and my 30 minutes was up. What were the results? Honestly I don’t know where I placed because I never checked at the registration table but for my first time I thought I did pretty well. My dismounts and remounts were great and if it weren’t for my cleats spinning I feel I would have done even better. So how can I improve from my first race at Cross the Domes? I’ll let you know soon!